Ch ch ch ch changes…

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.

Young whooping cranes 8-17 and 2-17 hunker down in the tall grass to protect their legs and escape the biting insects. Photo: Colleen Chase

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!

whooping cranes 3-17, 8-17 and in the background 7-17, out for some exploration and exercise. Photo: Colleen Chase

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5 Comments

  1. Marilyn Wanser July 13, 2017 10:44 pm

    Thank you, Colleen, for making me feel like I’m right there with you.

  2. Jo-Anne Bellemer July 13, 2017 12:25 pm

    Awwww gotta love 8-17!

  3. Jean P. aka CrabtowneMd July 13, 2017 10:31 am

    Love all the photos and this story of the crane chick’s social development. Go 8-17 ; don’t let your older sibs bully you ! Looking forward to more photos and hopefully the return of the cam !

  4. Mollie Cook July 13, 2017 9:37 am

    Thank you Colleen for your update. I hope you all are dealing ok with all the rain. Biting insects…….what a nuisance for man & beast.
    Love the pics! They are growing so fast & really miss the cam. Hope it is back up soon.

  5. Kathrine Noran July 13, 2017 7:31 am

    Thank you for these posts, and thank you all for your dedication.