More Photos From Banding

Brooke sent along the following images captured during the banding procedure, which took place last Tuesday and I thought it would be a good opportunity to explain some more about the process.

Fabric panels are placed on one of the feed shelters inside the pen. This provides a wind and visual barrier so that the young cranes can't see what's going on inside as they await their turn.

Fabric panels are placed on one of the feed shelters inside the pen. This provides a wind and visual barrier so that the young cranes can’t see what’s going on inside as they await their turn.

This is the top-netted enclosure inside the large 4 acre release pen. The young cranes are held here before they are banded, and for a few days following the procedure to allow the to acclimate to their new surroundings. The smoke in the distance is from a prescribed burn taking place on the refuge.

This is the top-netted enclosure inside the large 4 acre release pen. The young cranes are held here before they are banded, and for a few days following the procedure to allow the to acclimate to their new surroundings. The smoke in the distance is from a prescribed burn taking place on the refuge.

From left: Eran Brusilaw, Richard Urbanek, Scott Tidmus and Bev Paulan in the process of placing bands on one of the cranes.

From left: Eran Brusilow, Richard Urbanek, Scott Tidmus and Bev Paulan in the process of placing bands on one of the cranes.

Disney's Scott Tidmus holds the crane across his lap while securing its legs with his other hand. Richard Urbanek is gluing the bands together. They are slightly larger than the birds' legs, which allow them to spin freely.

Disney’s Scott Tidmus holds the crane across his lap while securing its legs with his other hand. Richard Urbanek is gluing the bands together. They are slightly larger than the birds’ legs, which allow them to spin freely.

Refuge Manager Terry Peacock holds the beak of the crane, which has a 'hood' placed over its head. Hooding a crane during any unpleasant procedure reduces stress for the young bird and allows handlers to work without the constraints of the costume helmet.

Refuge Manager Terry Peacock holds the beak of the crane, which has a ‘hood’ placed over its head. Hooding a crane during any unpleasant procedure reduces stress for the young bird and allows handlers to work without the constraints of the costume helmet.

Some readers have asked how the bands are read. In this case, with the body of the crane on the right - It would be left leg: White over Green and right leg: White over Red, which tells us this is female #10-15.

Some readers have asked how the bands are read. In this case, with the body of the crane on the right – It would be left leg: White over Green and right leg: White over Red, which tells us this is female #10-15.

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7 Comments

  1. AintThatAmerica February 16, 2016 4:29 pm

    white over green (L) and white over red (R) = 10-15 ……. duh

  2. Mindy February 16, 2016 1:33 pm

    Thanks Heather! Great pictures and explanations…appreciate it so very much.

  3. Lara Leaf February 16, 2016 1:32 pm

    Thank you for showing the pics of the procedure! I’m sure the colts do not care for this handling but I also know you all have the necessary experience to do this as quickly as possible. Love ya!

  4. peter smith February 16, 2016 11:59 am

    Absolutely fantastic. I wonder if we true craniacs can, for a donation of course, get banded so that in the wild birds and people can recognize us for the unusual creatures we are? Just an idea….

  5. vannie zychowicz February 16, 2016 11:05 am

    Thanks for this wonderful information I was wondering how long the pin would stay up , Is Brooke there to see if the young whooper go back in the pin that night so they are safe?

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  6. Barb February 16, 2016 9:25 am

    Thanks so much for the great pictures and commentary. May I ask, how long will the team continue to feed, water and provide safe shelter for the Cranes? Are the shelters keep up year round or until its comes to the pint where no birds are using them any more?

    • Heather Ray February 16, 2016 9:37 am

      The feeders provide supplemental feed only. Since the release enclosure is not top-netted the cranes fly out to explore the area and forage each day. They hopefully will return to roost in the evenings. The feed shelters are not kept up throughout the year – only when young cranes are present in the winter months.