Whooping Crane Whooping Crane

May 10, 2001

Cuddle Up!

Chick with puppet
Photo courtesy Heather Ray
Operation Migration

This chick cuddles with a crane puppet head. This helps with proper imprinting (an attachment the chick develops for whomever feeds and cares for him).

Crane chicks love the color red. The red tip on the bill helps the chick focus on it when trainers use the puppet to start feeding the chick and teaching it what to do.

The whooping crane chicks are being hand-reared, also called costume-reared. That means they are being imprinted on whooping cranes, while raised by humans that wear costumes to hide their human forms. The humans must never speak or sneeze or make any human noises while around the cranes!

Trainer Dan Sprague, Biologist, Patuxent Wildlife Research Center

Meet Dan Sprague

Audio Clip
.wma file, 415 Kb/ .wav file, 146K, .aif file, 146K)

Hear Dan Explain Why He Wears the Costume

Audio Clip
.wma file, 564 Kb/ .wav file, 279K, .aif file, 279K)

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

Copyright 2001 Journey North. All Rights Reserved.
Please send all questions, comments, and suggestions to
our feedback form