Chick It Out! ICF Launches Whooping Crane Chick Cam

Access to the rare and endangered Whooping Crane chicks that are raised each year at the International Crane Foundation (ICF) in Baraboo, WI is granted only to trained ICF staff wearing crane costumes – until now. This chick season ICF is sharing this experience with the world through our live web cam!

Knock, knock…Who's there?

Knock before entering… A common courtesy, for example, when visiting a friend or relative’s home. Believe it or not, this simple concept can also be applied as a training tool to help calm nervous birds. A ‘knock’ signals to a bird that an aviculturist will be entering to do something in their space. This ‘something’ can be any number of routine husbandry tasks: from checking food and water buckets, to entering the pen with a large bucket to clean. Sometimes, a knock may just mean someone is coming to look in at you and toss you a treat.

A Helping Hand

At ICF’s Baraboo headquarters, we have all 15 species of crane, many for purposes of breeding and maintaining the valuable genetic lines of several endangered species. That responsibility, however, precludes us from taking in any injured cranes, either from public reports or as a result of our research. Wild birds have the potential of bringing with them any number of diseases that could wreak havoc with our captive population; that is a risk we cannot take.

New Blue Crane Joins ICF Flock

On November 16, 2011, ICF received a young male Blue Crane from the National Zoological Park (NZP). The young crane, named Kito (Swahili for ‘precious child’) by ICF staff, was hatched in May 2011 and was parent–reared at NZP. Kito was donated to ICF to be paired with our female Blue Crane, Veld. Veld lost her previous mate in 2009 and, as many visitors to ICF since then may know, hasn’t been comfortable spending much time on exhibit.

Christmas Trees Benefit Crane Conservation

The fruit cake is finally gone, the ornaments have all been packed away, and the Christmas tree now lies on the curb. The holiday season has past, but for ICF’s Crane Conservation Department (CCD) this means it’s time to start early preparations for our upcoming breeding season!!

Every year during the 2-3 weeks following Christmas, CCD staff hooks up the truck and trailer and heads into Baraboo to collect upwards of 70 Christmas trees to be used as capture corners during the breeding season. This year, we were fortunate to have the added assistance from the Village of West Baraboo Public Works Department, who graciously offered to deliver the trees they collected to our site!