WHOOPING CRANE CHICK:
Our whooping crane chick has hatched! Barbara holds the wet chick very carefully in the palm of her hand, with her other hand ready to cover him if he decides to struggle. Our chick's legs are swollen from being in the egg. The swelling will go away after 24 hours, and as it does, he'll try to stand and walk. But right now, all he's interested in is sleeping. Just lying in Barbara's warm hand is enough to make him doze off. Barb is examining him to make sure he's normal. He's absorbed all his yolk sac and his umbilicus (like our belly button) is sealed properly. He looks fine!
Check on our chick tomorrow!
Photo by Damien Ossi,
USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Barb examined the chick, she weighed him. He's in a little plastic tray
just big enough for him, with a cushiony rubber mat to lay on. He's so
tired he doesn't even try to leave the tray, but just lays there very
cooperatively. The dark mark on his face is just fragments of membranes
from the inside of the egg which will come off when his down dries
His hatch weight is 128 grams. That's about four and a half ounces. Whoopers can weigh between 100 and 150 grams at hatching, so he's right in the middle. Because he's wet, he will weigh even less once he dries out, and he will probably lose weight for the next three days. But his yolk sac will continue to give him nutrition even though he is losing weight. As soon as he learns to eat and drink, he'll start gaining back those grams quickly.
here to ask questions about our chick or Patuxent's crane program.
("Tux" for short) - for the name of our Research Center
*This contest was run in May, 2000. If you follow the progress of the chick you will find out the results.
Hatch Day (Click on numbered links to view other egg (negative numbers) and chick days).
To check on updates after day 14, go to whooper's home.