I normally don’t have a cruel streak. I’m a nice person, I empathize too much probably. So, I am kind of ashamed to admit how interesting and funny I think it is that #3-17 has been like a watch dog attacking the new person in the yard! 

The first time Doug Pellerin joined us on an outing with the young cranes, you could see the thought bubble above #3’s head “I don’t know you – Game on!” He went after Doug and his puppet. He pounded Doug in the ribs, leg and butt, every chance he got! He did not come round and buddy up the following Thursday either. Poor Doug got the same treatment again. We thought it was the puppet Doug uses. 

To give you some idea of what this might feel like – imagine being poked – really hard – by chopsticks!

We try to turn away and just disengage when this happens. One does not want to teach or encourage aggression. So Poor Doug is feeling like a poking bag.

This past Monday Dr. Barry Hartup, ICF’s veterinarian and his residents (whom Brooke will introduce you to in his next post) came to give the birds their Eastern Equine Encephalitis and West Nile Virus immunizations and collect poop samples to check for parasites. Our little watch dog #3-17 attacked again. He went after the tech that was using MY puppet… So much for the puppet theory. 

Today #1-17 joined the Wham On Doug club. I figure this is a good thing (not for Doug), we want them to be wary birds. If they stay away from what they don’t know, and wail on something strange that is too close it increases their chances of making it. I really want them to make it.

So sorry Doug, I am giggling silently while you weave and dodge.

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  1. Karen Anne Kolling July 14, 2017 7:52 am

    I’ve lost track of the various ways the cranes are being raised now, except I remember some of the motive was they might be more wary of predators if raised partly by adult cranes. How was 3-17 raised?

    • Heather Ray July 14, 2017 7:55 am

      Number 3-17 (male) is currently at our pen site on White River Marsh and being costume raised along with 6 others.

  2. Susan O’Connell July 14, 2017 7:24 am

    I just noticed something – that young crane has blue eyes! Pictures of adults I see has yellow. Do the eyes change color as they get older?

    • Heather Ray July 14, 2017 7:46 am

      They do! Initially they start out a slate color, then change to blue and eventually bright yellow. (Adult Sandhill eyes are orange).

      • Susan O’Connell July 14, 2017 10:15 am


  3. Barb July 14, 2017 6:55 am

    Loved the “up close and personal” video. I hope his spirit will be the tool he needs to survive. Thanks for the video.