Baby Steps…

With HUGE feet!

First, here’s the owner of the rather large foot we showed you yesterday…

#8-17, the owner of the big foot. Perhaps his nickname should be sasquatch?

Friday and Saturday were two of the days in life that “take your breath away” and I will always remember.

The twp smaller groups were combined into one and I sat with them each day for 6 or 7 hours. I stayed out of the way and let them establish a pecking order. #1-17 is THE MAN – Even if he turns out to be a she! 

If they got nervous and homesick for their runs in the propogation building I would lead them into the pond, and if they were scared, like when a helicopter went over we ran into the pond so they would learn that’s where you go if scary stuff is happening. It was wonderful and how lucky am I?!

As of Sunday, they have been on their own in the ponded-pen. One of us hovered outside and out of view in the morning then someone watched on the computer. #2-17 has been the crybaby but he is smart enough to take breaks and go drink before remembering he’s having a temper tantrum and gets back to it. The others are taking baths, naps and poking around happy as can be!

I took a ton of pictures from under my face mesh – Enjoy!

Whooping crane #1-17 and his, um, toupee!

In this photo you can see #1-17’s blood feathers as the primary and secondary feathers grow in.

Whooping crane 3-17 bobs for underwater treats.

Five of this year’s cohort chill while getting acquainted with each other.

Whooping crane 4-17 shows off his stubby, err, quickly growing wings.

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  1. Louise Moos (DuppyLu June 17, 2017 4:25 pm

    I thought this program had been shut down last year. Is it just the guided flights to the Gulf coast that have been cancelled?

    • Heather Ray June 18, 2017 11:48 am

      We are no longer using the aircraft but are still very much involved in raising and releasing whooping cranes in Wisconsin to build the size of the population.

  2. Mindy June 16, 2017 1:12 pm

    Colleen, thank you so much for the wonderful pictures! They are adorable! You are such a good “watcher” and your love for them shows in every sentence you write. Thank you…..

  3. Jean P. aka CrabtowneMd June 15, 2017 7:51 pm

    Wonderful news and wonderful photos. Love 4-17’s wing stretch. So cute ! Thank you for sharing the joys of crane-sitting.

  4. Catherine Wohlfeil June 14, 2017 11:14 pm

    Are 8-17’s feet actually bigger than average for his age? If so, will he find them to be of increased assistance in seeking out food, etc.?

  5. Barb June 13, 2017 8:08 pm

    I imagine there are times that are boring, but then times like these must be worth the wait. I envy your job and the circumstances that allow you to love what you are doing every day. Wonderful pictures filled with hope for these youngsters.

  6. Lindi Allen June 13, 2017 8:06 am

    Thank you Colleen for the pictures and update on the cranes, I enjoy reading about them. It will be interesting to see 8-17 fully grown.

  7. Richard P. Chase June 13, 2017 7:42 am

    Looks like they are getting big enough to start heading for WI soon.

    If #8-17 grows into those feet there may be a record sized Whooper in the making!