USGS USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center

Jane Chandler--Crane Flock Manager

Jane Chandler proudly shows off a tray of this year's Whooper eggs in one of Patuxent's Petersime Incubators. Photo by Kathleen O'Malley, USGS.

Jane Chandler proudly shows off a tray of this year's Whooper eggs in one of Patuxent's Petersime Incubators.

Photo by Kathleen O'Malley, USGS.

 

Jane has worked at Patuxent for 17 years. A graduate of Allegheny College, she received her BS in biology in 1986. Prior to working at Patuxent, Jane was a field biologist at the Long Point Bird Observatory in Ontario, Canada, and worked as a volunteer with the Student Conservation Association on a spotted owl project in Oregon.

As Patuxent’s Crane Flock Manager, Jane oversees the crane breeding colony, and is responsible for more than 50 adult whoopers, almost 70 greater sandhill cranes, and over 70 Florida sandhill cranes. It's a diverse, year-round task that involves animal care responsibilities, breeding season planning, genetic management, record keeping, report writing, staff management, and grounds and facilities maintenance among other things.

Her favorite crane? Whooping crane 02-90018. As a young colt, he once had an unusual accident and found his bill stuck in the chain link fencing in his pen. This could have ended with a serious injury for him, or even death, but luckily, Jane was on hand that morning to rescue him. Ever since that near miss, she's felt a special bond with him.

Her favorite season is fall and early winter, when everyone's involved in the cranes' annual health checks. After the hectic days of breeding season and chick-rearing season, she enjoys the slower pace and close interaction with the entire flock as the staff and Center veterinarian examines each bird to evaluate their physical well being.

When asked how she felt about her job, Jane said, "I am honored to be a part of the crane program at Patuxent and I admire the pioneers of the program, especially Ray Erickson, George Gee, and Bruce Williams. Without their vision and dedication, we would not have been able to achieve our current successes."

While Jane rightly respects the ground breaking work of the people who came before her, it's safe to say that the Patuxent crane program owes a lot to the many years of hard work and dedication Jane has given the cranes.