June 19, 2003
Patuxent, Hello Necedah
The chicks can't fly yet, which is very important. They must be moved before they fledge (fly), or they won't want to follow the ultralight. Whooping cranes learn to fly around 60 days of age. Another reason for delivering them to Necedah before they fledge is that cranes will always return to the place where they learned to fly. These young whoopers will think of the wetlands around Necedah NWR as their summer home and future breeding grounds--exactly what experts hope for.
The youngest 7 chicks will stay at Patuxent WRC for about two more weeks. After they arrive, they will be housed and trained at their own enclosure, separate from the other two cohorts. Each cohort has its own pen and its own training site. Keeping them apart helps their social development. They also train better when they are with chicks close to their age.
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