The youngest of our whooping crane chicks, #8-17 is now 70 days old. She is the smallest also, a tiny girl.
She has been the most timid of the birds, definitely at the bottom of the pecking order. She submissively ducks her head when another bird gets too close.
Though little, she is a smart girl, on buggy mornings, as we walk the runway she has learned that if she lays down in the tall vegetation it keeps the bugs off her legs.
Last week we lost sight of her briefly. Before we went into the marsh to find her Brooke whispered to me to watch where I walked, she would be so hunkered down we had to be careful to not step on her. Well, Brooke found her and she followed him happily getting her fair share of grapes, which are used as positive reinforcement. They only get one if they come to the costume.
In the past week she has gotten really grabby when it’s grape time. I think she has gotten tired of other birds stealing her share of the treats. But, even though she’s gotten grabby with the grapes she’s still been submissive. Until yesterday morning, we were about to head back to the pen, and everybody was at the South End of the runway coming out of the marsh. We couldn’t believe our eyes when our mousey little timid girl took a swipe at number 7-17 poked her hard in the back because she was in her way!
It’s so much fun to watch a baby of any species grow up and change and change is happening!