Whooping Crane Whooping Crane

May 3, 2002

Weighing In

By four days of age, a chick has made progress! It can now stand up tall and walk well. The chick still stumbles sometimes, but its legs get stronger and steadier with every passing hour. Whooper chicks have very fluffy, dense downy coats. Later, their reddish cinnamon color gives way to a rust-and-white mottled look as the white feathers grow in.

The fragile chicks are weighed a couple of times each day during the first week. Their weights let the handlers know if the chicks are eating and getting enough fluids.

Crane #3 is 16 days old and not as gangly. He is coaxed onto the scale with yummy mealworms. Click to enlarge and see how much the chick weighs.
crane02WCEP_016 crane02WCEP_002  
4-day-old chick
Crane #4 at 12 days
Crane #3 at 16 days
Patuxent WRC

Watch a Whooping Crane
Being Weighed
Video Operation Migration

Try This! Journaling Questions
  • Why do you suppose Crane #4 is being weighed in a box? (Look for a clue word in the text above.)
  • What other items weigh the same as a 16-day-old chick? (Click photo to enlarge and read the scale.)

Journey North is pleased to feature this educational adventure made possible by the
Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership (WCEP).

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