New Sandhill Cranes join our flock

“It was very interesting – and loud – having four Sandhill Cranes calling behind our heads in the van every time we slowed down to stop. Jenna from the Calgary Zoo said it was Groot who would start the calling when they were in their van, so we got ourselves a feisty troublemaker!” ~ Jessica Colvin, Aviculturist

Earlier this month, Jessica and Senior Aviculturist Marianne Wellington traveled to the Dakota Zoo in Bismarck, North Dakota, to pick up four new members of our flock – Sandhill Crane pairs Dorothy and Zephyr and Groot and Rocket! The cranes were originally from the Calgary Zoo in Canada, whose staff meet our team at the “half-way” point in Bismarck. After the Calgary Zoo staff arrived in North Dakota, the Dakota Zoo provided a space for the four cranes to rest overnight before their more than nine-hour drive to Wisconsin.

The transfer team poses in front of the U-haul truck used to safety drive the cranes to from North Dakota to our headquarters in Wisconsin. The birds travel in wooden crates designed to provide a safe space during transport.

The two new Sandhill pairs are doing well at our headquarters. The birds recently had their quarantine health exams and will be moved to their more permanent enclosures in Crane City in a few weeks, after they’ve completed their 30day quarantine. Our plan is for the pairs to fill roles as surrogate incubators and as exhibit birds for our new Sandhill Crane exhibit.

Since the new birds arrived at our headquarters, much has changed in the world relating to the COVID-19 crisisand still our husbandry staff continues to provide world-class care to our flock. Our crane care staff are working in two teams to help maintain social distancing and reduce any potential transmission among groupsIt is a challenging time for our staff, but we are committed to their and our birds’ health and safety.

Not to be missed – Jessica and Marianne visited “Sandy – The World’s Largest Sandhill” in Steele, North Dakota!

Story submitted by Jessica Colvin, Aviculturist. Click here to learn more about our Global Headquarters.