Even in the
wild, whooper parents have to teach their chicks to eat and drink. Wild
whooper parents catch food for their chicks all day long.
The handlers that care for the chicks don't have to catch the food, but
they spend many hours patiently teaching the chicks how to eat. They also
know that a crane's favorite color is red. The costumed handler dips the
bill of a crane puppet into a bowl of water, then into a crane-cumbles.
The crumbles are a specially formulated high protein food with everything
a growing chick needs. The crumbles stick to the puppet's bill. The chick
pecks the food off the bill, and eventually follows the puppet bill to
the food or water. It doesn't take long for the chick to realize where
the food is. Soon it will wobble over to the dish to serve itself.
The chick in this video is only hours old. The puppet head is teaching
the young chick to eat crane crumbles. The puppet head plays a recording
of a "contact call,"
communicating with the chick like a real crane parent would.
This! Journaling Questions
- Why do
you think the food bowl is red?
- This rule
is part of the Protocol (See
April 22 Highlight for more about Protocol) for raising whooper
chicks:"Absolutely no feeding will be done from hand. All food
used as an incentive will be dispensed by methods other than hand tossing.
Mealworms or other treats will be pointed out using a puppet to encourage
foraging." Why do you think this rule is necessary? Write your
response in your journals, then read read
what we think (rule 5).
North is pleased to feature this educational adventure made possible
Crane Eastern Partnership (WCEP).
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