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Patuxent, Hello Necedah
The ten oldest chicks of hatch year 2003 took their first
flight today--but INSIDE a plane. The gangly young cranes arrived via
private jet at Wisconsin's Necedah
National Wildlife Refuge--the new summer home and future breeding
grounds for the Eastern flock. Upon arrival, full body x-rays were taken
of each chick while still inside their individual crates. After a brief
health exam the ten chicks were divided into two groups, based on their
ages (determined by hatch order). Then each group of chicks, called a
cohort, was driven
to their own enclosure on a secluded marsh. After about 30 minutes, they
were released from their shipping crates to explore their new surroundings.
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.
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.
chick travels in its own crate.
are released into their new enclosure. Photos WCEP.
This! Journaling Question
Journey North is pleased to feature this educational
adventure made possible by the
Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership (WCEP).
2003-2004 Journey North. All Rights Reserved.
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