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September 10, 2002
Crabby Times

Blue crab
Photo Chesapeake Bay Program

In more ways than one, these are crabby times for the young crane colts. They are grudgingly flying and making slow progess after the stress of the banding and health checks. But they are also being fed some delicious blue crabs. This year, the second year of the migration project, WCEP leaders are occasionally flying in some blue crabs from Patuxent, Maryland for treats--and lessons.

Blue crabs are the most important food source for whooping cranes on their wintering grounds, whether at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in Texas for the main flock, or in central Florida for this tiny new Eastern flock. These young birds will need to learn how to eat crusty blue crabs in order to grow and stay healthy all winter. If you've ever tried to eat a lobster or crab yourself, you know this is tough until you get the hang of it. Without any adult cranes to teach them, how do you suppose these colts will learn how to eat blue crabs? Learn more here:

Link to Lesson:

Feeling Blue and Crabby: Whooping Crane Winter Diet


Try This! Journaling Question
  • Today's Highlight gives you one more thing that is new for this year's cranes compared to last year's pioneer flock. Add it to the list in your journal.


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

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