Sunday, November 14, 2010

Miscellaneous or Preparing for Departure

We've been monitoring the chicks every day. We wake up with them at the dawn

We watch to make sure they go to sleep safely

Sometimes one will trick us. Feta roosted far away from the group last week. She roosted 1/4 mile south of the East Rhynearson Marsh where the chicks normally roost. When we went out to check on her in the morning, she had flown back to the others sometime during the night! How does a bird see enough to fly at night? 

Both Aubrey and I thought we heard Pepper Jack's signal early in the morning this past week, but once we started following the signal, it drops away. I hope we'll hear something about him soon. Maybe the DNR will catch a visual of him on one of their tracking flights, but I don't know how often they go out flying.

Goat has been improving. He's been seen with 11-02 and 30-08 (The jones') more often. Just this week, Fontina was hanging out with those 3 as well. Once I saw Fontina and Goat fly over to where the other chicks were. I have strong hopes that Goat will reunite with the others or at least follow 11-02 and 30-08 down on migration.

Our tracking vans are going through some rigorous inspections before going on migration. It doesn't stop the wildlife from enjoying them while they are around, though.
After a couple of weeks trying to capture wild birds so we could replace non-functioning transmitters, my supervisors finally decided it was time to get me trained at holding birds. Taffy took me around crane city at ICF and we picked up several birds like this brolga. I have a feeling that holding captive birds is only somewhat like holding wild cranes. I anticipate the wild cranes are more aggressive: they'll peck, jump rake, dodge and weave. Maybe the wild cranes will just run away. Either way, I feel a little more prepared for whatever comes my way. I'm glad I was able to get some practice in before I leave.

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