2. Coming into the World: Who Are Your Parents?

Chicks in Captivity
The first thing a captive-raised chick sees is a crane puppet. This becomes "mom." The chick knows, by instinct, to stick close. The puppet also has a tiny recorder that plays the call a parent makes to its chick. The call means “It’s okay. Follow me.” Click here to hear the call!

Very soon, the tiny chick is put near a living adult Whooping crane. Watching the real crane tells the chick how its species moves and behaves. A plastic wall keeps the chick safe. Do you see the tiny chick on the green fake grass?


Chicks in the Wild
The very first thing these babies see is their parents. They also know, by instinct, to stick close. Still, there are so many dangers in the wild (or from the older sibling that hatched from the other egg in the nest) that many chicks die before they are one month old.