Of the cranes that visit regularly, all have names. Since I get to spend time very close to them, I’m able to tell them apart by distinct markings, though often very subtle, and by behavior. The ones I call “Ma” and “Pa” have been coming the longest, bringing their babies here every spring for the past 10 years. Usually one, but sometimes two, they bring the babies as soon as they are strong enough to fly over the canal that borders our sanctuary (and has alligators in it).
Last year was unique because the father (who is very tame) brought his baby right up to me and introduced us. This had never happened before or since. He taught the baby to trust me at a very early age, then left it with me. We bonded- a bond that is strong as ever today- this is the one I call “Zero”. A few weeks later, Zero had an accident and badly injured his foot. Because of our bond, he trusted me enough to help him recover. None of the cranes or ducks spend the night here, but other critters live here full time.
Next week we will show you images of the other baby crane that visits daily, “1E” and his friends.
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