First Day with the New Wing!

Weather conditions allowed Richard to fly to the training site today to introduce the young Whooping crane chicks to the large wing attached to the aircraft.

Until now, they’ve only seen a small, dummy wing on our ground training trike at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center.

As Tom Schultz and Geoff Tarbox opened the gates to the enclosure, most came out readily but number 8-14 hung back in the wetpen until Richard coaxed her out onto the training strip to join her flockmates.

Lots of treats were handed out under the new (to the chicks) wing of the trike to convince them that the big bad shadow wasn’t as scary as it first appeared and in no time at all they were following behind as Richard slowly pulled it toward the north end of the strip. More treats for following before heading back.

It’s a process that must be taken slowly. Baby steps.

Tom Schultz sent along the following images for your enjoyment!

Whoopers 2014 7-11 runway1 Whoopers 2014 7-11 runway2 Whoopers 2014 7-11 runway5 Whoopers 2014 7-11 runway6 Whoopers 2014 7-11 runway8 Whoopers 2014 7-11 runway9 Whoopers 2014 7-11 runway10 Whoopers 2014 7-11 runway11

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  1. Mindy Finklea July 13, 2014 1:02 pm

    Love all the babies….and all the great pictures….Thank you!
    I think it would be cool if the wing tips of the trike could be painted to look like black feathers to resemble an adult Whooper in flight…to the babies, and to all humans who see it……

  2. Carolyn Cofer July 12, 2014 6:07 pm

    Wonderful pictures! It won’t be long now!

  3. Claire DeLand July 12, 2014 4:36 am

    What great pictures!!! Thanks so much to EVERYBURDY for EVERYthing!!!!

  4. Margie Tomlinson July 12, 2014 12:37 am

    Thank you so much Tom for the great photos! Still wondering if you are related to my aunt, Harriet (Schultz) Wollitz. Could you please let me know one way or another? Thanks again.

  5. Ruth Mitchell July 11, 2014 9:51 pm

    Thank you SO much for the fabulous pictures!!! Makes me feel like I am right there with you!!!

  6. Cheryl Nichol July 11, 2014 9:31 pm

    ~ beautiful photos!

  7. Richard P. Chase July 11, 2014 1:14 pm

    Baby birds = baby steps.

  8. Rita July 11, 2014 11:58 am

    They all look great! The pictures are terrific! Thanks for all you do with these cranes…you are to be commended for all your hard work!

  9. Bristol Haughton July 11, 2014 11:38 am

    Way Cool !

  10. Barbara Neibrand July 11, 2014 11:37 am

    These are beautiful pictures- thanks for taking them and sharing them with us


  11. Bristol Haughton July 11, 2014 11:37 am

    Way Cool ! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  12. Marilynn Papendick July 11, 2014 11:37 am

    Even if we are far, far away from the action, we are able so share this miracle thanks to the dedicated people who make this trip possible. Thank you.

  13. Deb July 11, 2014 11:31 am

    Awesome! Unfortunately I missed the show this morning…keep up the good work.

  14. Patricia Ewing July 11, 2014 11:21 am

    Great pictures – thanks for sharing…