Patuxent Wildlife Research Center



Overview of Patuxent's Crane Program - Dr. John French

Here is a video that describes the Crane program at the Patuxent Widlife Research Center and how efforts at Patuxent contribute to the restoration of a migratory flock of Whooping Cranes in the eastern United States. Dr. John French, Research manager and head of the Crane program, discusses the restoration project and basic biology of cranes.

Collection of Whooping Crane Videos:

“Chicks Foraging in the Ponds”

This short video is what a typical day looks like for our chicks growing up at Patuxent. Now that they have been taught to forage and drink on their own, the chicks explore the large pond inside their netted pen. The pond is also where these chicks will roost at night.

“Chicks Getting their Feet Wet”

This video follows a group of young 40 day-old crane chicks as they forage and walk through their netter pond pen at Patuxent. Notice the different colored leg bands used to identify each bird. The number on the band signifies the order they were hatched at Patuxent.  The plastic Whooping Crane attached to the netting is used as a kind of “imprint model” which helps the chicks associate with adult Whoopers after being released in the wild.

“Unison Call”

An adult pair gives a “unison call” in the early morning. The male gives the long sustained note and the female joins in with the two shorter notes in-between. This vocalization strengthens the pair-bond between the male and female and is also a display of territoriality.

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