Saturday, October 30, 2010

Nacho's Loss

A few days after release, we discovered the body of Nacho, our favorite. Our first.

It has hit me pretty hard, because there's no way we could have predicted he'd be the first one to go. He was the strongest, he was the leader. He always knew where to forage and where to take shelter. He led the others when flying to new places. He seemed to work well with the adults who were in the area. Nacho was a good bird. By that, I mean he was a fine example of a bird (for all I know about the subject). He wasn't like a pet. Cranes would never be good pets.

We always compared him to the high school quarterback: liked and loved by all: the other chicks, the other adult cranes, us costumes...

Brittani named him Nacho before anyone else had a vote. The name just kinda stuck.

During his first couple of days he was the only chick we had at the chick rearing facility. I was worried that he wouldn't have anyone of the same age. Kelly assured me that even though he was all alone now, just wait, he'd be the most spoiled chick. Maybe she was right, we did spend more time with him.

He was always the first to reach the milestones in a chick's life: the first to be socialized, the first to get real feathers, the first to stay outside, the first to fly.

He was always the chick I relied on to keep the other chicks in line.

I will miss his leadership and confidence. I was hoping to follow his story on the migration south, but I fear his story ends before halloween. They tell us not to get attached, and in some degree I'm not. There's nothing I could've done to prevent that predator... but it doesn't relieve the sadness I feel at his loss. I miss him, and I'll continue to think of him as the chicks journey south on their migration.

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