Whose Harem is this Anyway?

If you spend much time watching the CraneCam, you’ve no doubt seen Mr. Handsome on the scene. No, not Joe Duff, I’m talking about #5-12. This now 2-yr old Whooping crane usually shows up in the morning to observe training, and then may or may not make appearances during the day. And often we’re treated to an evening visit as well.

When he stands on the path, calmly watching the runway action, sometimes I think he’s pining for his childhood and all the happy-flappy fun he had running up and down the runway in 2012. So far this year he hasn’t been disruptive to training – I guess he learned his lesson last year when and he and #4-12 had to be run off the runway with nerf balls!

The truth is he’s a typical guy and he’s there to check out all the girl-birds in this year’s cohort. A couple of times I even heard him wolf-whistle at Marsha (#10-14) when she strolled around the marsh! Of course she ignored him, much as she ignores the pilots when she is engrossed in catching grasshoppers and other marshy stuff.

So Wednesday evening, when Geoff arrived to do the roost check, I was watching the video stream and musing about which of this year’s six girl crane chicks #5-12 would select. Will she like him in return? Will she feel like she already knows him from all his hanging out at the pen??

As I was pondering these oh-so-important questions, Geoff started a slow stroll around the wet pen and all seven chicks were just about glued to his costume! All the way around, they just stuck close by him like he was the latest American Idol and they were his teeny bopper groupies!

Geoff then meandered outside the pen to (I presume) check the hotwire. As he walked the perimeter, the chicks continued to follow him attentively. At one point he stopped to (I presume) pull some tall grass from the hotwire and all seven chicks also stopped to (I presume) supervise…


Then they clearly decided he needed help…

Supervisors 2

Well, my final thought before falling asleep last night was that #5-12 doesn’t stand a chance with these chicks! This is obviously Geoff’s Whooping crane harem!

Share Button


  1. maxgreenwing August 10, 2014 7:42 pm

    Have been missing my morning chick fix. Thanks Jobellimi for the entertaining FJ report.

  2. Christy August 9, 2014 8:39 pm

    Wonderful, Jobel!

  3. Lu Duncan Frank August 8, 2014 8:29 pm

    Love to read the journals! It’s so neat to hear what goes on with these birds! They have their own drama!

  4. Sally Swanson August 8, 2014 1:23 pm

    I was fortunate to see this scene live the other evening and we were all enthralled watching the chicks follow Geoff! Thanks for all your entertaining updates in the field journal!


  5. Nancy Freeman August 8, 2014 12:57 pm

    alway enjoy the FJ reports every morning when i get to work….makes me smile and chuckle……..enjoy the talented writers ! 🙂
    thanks !

  6. Kay August 8, 2014 9:08 am

    You ALL write so well. It’s always pure pleasure to come across a field journal.

  7. Margie Tomlinson August 8, 2014 8:44 am

    Really cute story/projection for this year’s Class of 2014, Jo! Yes, #5-12 is truly a “handsome dude”, too! Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. It was enjoyable!

  8. Patricia Ewing August 8, 2014 7:52 am

    Thanks for a chuckle this morning. Don’t remember nerf balls last year 🙂

  9. Ruth Mitchell August 8, 2014 6:32 am

    Jo Jo Jo….there you go….Anthropomorphizing again!!!!! SMH
    OK OK…I will admit it…I do it too!!!