Preparing for Migration
Keeping Crane Chicks Healthy


  Here's what we know:

Sara knows that whoopers like cranberries, too!

Each Friday before the ultralight migration, all chicks get a "dewormer" to control infections. One week they get a liquid medication and the next week they get one that comes as a powder.

The biologists know that Whoopers like a small fish called smelt. They guessed that they could inject the liquid medicine into the fish and the birds would gobble it up. (And they did!)

But the powder, which tasted terrible, posed a new problem! The crew tried taking the guts out of the smelt and carefully pouring the powder in. But it was a messy job and the whoopers didn't go for the nasty flavor.

Then one scientist had a new idea. He gave the crew soft capsules to put the nasty powder in. When they stuffed the capsules into the smelt, the birds gobbled them up.

Journaling Questions

  • What problem did the biologists try to solve? What did they learn as they tried to solve it?
  • How did your ideas for getting chicks to take medication compare with the biologists' ideas?
  • What different types of health risks do you think whooping crane chicks in the wild and in captivity might face?

Photo Credits: WCEP

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