So Far So Good

I’ve just finished reading Mary O’Brien’s post and I am grinning from ear to ear.  I can’t tell you how wonderful this lady is! She puts so many hours into making the costumes for the crew with such love, it boggles the mind. That trip to the pen was so overdue! Mary we all love you and think of you every time a costume is put on.

CraneFest was a blur this past weekend, it was the best ever, so many people came from so far to support the birds and crew they love. The cities of Berlin, Princeton and Green Lake have fallen in love with Whoopers and the craniacs have fallen in love with these wonderful towns. It was a weekend that will be remembered.

(Well, I’m writing this part of my post in a whisper. I’ve made it through the first week up here and have not washed a pan with motor oil or put the tracking van in the ditch. Maybe I’ve broken the tradition of starting migration with a bang… I hope.)

What a wonderful week it has been getting to know this year’s class. They are the greatest birds ever! (OK, I know I say that every year) Number 3-14 is the girl that loves to explore a bit of fingernail showing, she is so gentle it makes my heart melt, but I have to admit that number 4 is fast becoming my favorite. Dubbed Peanut by Brooke because he was the smallest chicklet, the only male in a harem of females. Poor guy, his legs were wonky when he was young and he hurt his right leg playing in the wind in a storm about 3 weeks ago.  It has not healed as quickly as hoped and was re injured a week ago as he played on the runway.

Wednesday, he went to see Dr. Barry Hartup at the International Crane Foundation. After being boxed, splinted and boxed again I was prepared for a cold shoulder this afternoon at roost check, these birds can and do hold a grudge after being handled. I can’t tell you how tickled I was to have him come over as I crouched down to study that leg, and want to pick on my puppet. We beat up a few blades of grass together then took turns pounding a clod into the mud.  He won, he drowned it. With some luck we will see Peanut flying with his girls in a few weeks.

What a great start to this migration. Here’s to a safe first journey for these girls and their Peanut, the pilots and the ground crew that do their best to make sure that Whooping Cranes will be around for future generations to fall in love with!

Whooping crane 4-14 aka Peanut with his new hinged leg brace.

Whooping crane 4-14 aka Peanut with his new hinged leg brace.

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  1. Maxgreenwing September 20, 2014 5:53 pm

    lol love that face! Thank you, Colleen for this wonderful report! 🙂

  2. Bikebrains September 20, 2014 1:00 pm

    On the subject of So Far So Good, Brooke should hit 50,000 votes around October 8. Please keep voting.

  3. Dave Sapko September 19, 2014 11:49 am

    Thanks for the update on 4 Colleen. I hope his leg repairs itself soon. Smelt should be good for that….fish oil ‘n such, good for structural parts/pieces.

  4. P. Main September 19, 2014 11:28 am

    My heart soars with joy at your posting Colleen. SO happy for you and wishing you a wonderful migration. Cannot wait for more posts from the crew! Wonderful birds and wonderful peeps All!

  5. Richard P. Chase September 19, 2014 7:45 am

    I am one of those hoping for a safe and speedy migration this year. Hopefully, the weather will be bright, sunny, and refreshingly cool for the St. Marks flyover this year.

    I will be waiting to see you and the travel crew to share a cold adult beverage at Outzs’ and/or the Riverside! 🙂

    P.S., We all miss you, Mom

    Daisy, Amber, Lilli Blue, Willi, Garfunkal, Ozzie, LayLa, Rufus, Zsa-Zsa, HurtyGurty, Belle, and Rosie