Whooping Crane Training Recap

Yesterday morning began with a very thick blanket of fog. So thick that as night changed to day the fog changed from dark gray to light gray and we could barely make out the young cranes roosting in the watery section of their enclosure.

A call to Brooke confirmed the same conditions at camp and he wasn’t very optimistic about training. There was very little (if any) breeze to blow the fog away and it was so thick that it would take a good amount of sun power to burn it off. Luckily it did eventually begin to dissipate and training got underway about 90 minutes after it usually does… AND, we had entertainment while we were waiting!

Yes the two Whooping cranes from the Class of 2012 made an appearance again. Watch the following to see what ensued…


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  1. jogulrich August 2, 2013 12:28 pm

    Thanks so much for these narrated training videos. They help so much both with my understanding, and also with sharing the whole OM experience with others. Please keep them coming. You all are wonderful!

  2. Dianne Mumola August 1, 2013 3:19 pm

    I just love these narrated videos….have really learned so much about the interactions between the chicks and the two sub-adult cranes! I was wondering if, down the road, these 2 might become problematic to the training of the 8 chicks? I have visions of them following the 2 white birds into the wild blue yonder one day soon instead of the trike!

    • Heather Ray August 2, 2013 4:53 am

      Dianne, anything is possible, however the young cranes are imprinted on the costumes, puppet and aircraft so the risk at this point is minimal.

      • Dianne Mumola August 2, 2013 11:13 am

        Thanks for your reply, Heather! I was so worried about that and I don’t know if you all had encountered this issue before with adult or young cranes returning to the training site?

        Thanks again for the great videos and all you do!! (((:>)))

  3. Deanna Uphoff August 1, 2013 1:01 pm

    Thanks Heather! Another great video. Such an interesting year with the class of 2012 visiting.

  4. Margie Tomlinson August 1, 2013 10:49 am

    Very nice commentary, Heather! Really helps/enhances the video!
    I think we are all learning so much from these chicks (& last years) by seeing their interaction behavior, etc. Keep bringing it on to us, as you can! Great job OM Team! So many aspects to this process of captive breeding, and wonderful to see that it’s really working to re-establish the Eastern flock in the good ole USA again.

  5. eugenia August 1, 2013 8:24 am

    I have really enjoyed these two narrated videos (the other on July 27).

    Heather, you mentioned their ‘dinosaur gait’ — definitely they have that. Sometimes it’s not hard to see the connection between birds and dinosaurs. Every time I see a Great Blue Heron take off, I think that must be so much like how an Archeopteryx looked.