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May 23, 2003

Hello, World! All Chicks Hatched

Today the 19th and final egg hatched at Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. The 2003 ultralight flock is complete! Researchers take a small sample from the egg sac from which each chick hatched. They use the cells to perform DNA tests that show if the crane is male or female. Crane #319 is a male. The new chicks are checked over by top crane veterinarians.

craneHY03_004
craneHY03_020 craneHY03_021
#302 gets checked at age 1 day.
Health checks.
Older birds checked.
Photos Dan Sprague, Patuxent WRC

Before leaving Patuxent, each chick will be fitted with a colored and individually numbered, 2-inch plastic band to allow them to get used to wearing a leg band/transmitter unit. The cranes will wear leg bands to identify them fo the rest of their lives.

Like last year, the crane chicks will later be transported in two shipments to their pre-selected summer home and future nesting grounds at Wisconsin's Necedah National Wildlife Refuge.


Try This! Journaling Question
  • Why is it important for the project to know the gender and health of each chick?
  • Why are the veterinarians dressed this way?
  • Attaching temporary bands at Patuxent is a new procedure this year. Why do you suppose the trainers decided to do this?


Journey North is pleased to feature this educational adventure made possible by the

Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership (WCEP).

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