Sunday's for the Birds: Tough Guys Return

          Remember when you were in middle school and the high schoolers used to come back acting like James Dean on a bad day, especially the freshmen? If I remember correctly, my friends and I weren’t too impressed when the older kids came around strutting their stuff.

#7-13 arrives at its new home OM image)
Humans aren’t the only species that exhibits this sort of right-of-passage behavior.
         The whooping crane class of 2013 arrived about a month ago at While River Marsh in Wisconsin to begin their flight training in preparation for their first migration south. Not long after, the older cranes began migrating in from Florida. It’s not unusual for a few of the yearlings to show up near the training site. On July 29th, two sub-adult males, #4-12 and #5-12 flew in bright and early. They strolled up to the pen where the young chicks were housed and displayed a bit of aggression. The Crane Cam captured their activities. Here’s the video narrated by OM’s cofounder and crane trainer Joe Duff.
         Since that time, these two big boys (big in size only for they are still youngsters)
Image from OM website.
have disrupted flight training several times by standing in the middle of the runway. Costumed handlers attempt to chase them off, but to no avail. Read Joe Duff’s entertaining account of the trouble these two are causing on the August 6 blog entitled, White Birds on Runway.
         To follow the progress of this year’s flight training and read about crane antics, log on to OM’s website and click on “In the Field.” For me, it’s a perfect way to start the morning; better than reading headline news.

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