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Louisiana's oldest whooping cranes learning how to be adults

8 months 2 weeks 5 days ago March 18, 2016 Mar 18, 2016 Friday, March 18 2016 March 18, 2016 5:04 AM in News
Source: Associated Press
By: Janet McConnaughey

NEW ORLEANS- Louisiana's small flock of whooping cranes has already equaled last year's nest total with four, and could double that number. But if the eggs hatch, will the young adults be good parents?
    
The question arises because birds taught to migrate by following ultralight planes from Wisconsin to Florida have had little success raising chicks. Though there have been 161 nests, only 64 eggs have hatched, and only nine lived long enough to fly.
    
Like Louisiana's whooping cranes, they were raised by people. They learned to eat and drink by mimicking the pecking of model crane heads held up by humans in baggy white garments with hoods and black masks.
    
Do whoopers need to be raised by crane parents to become good parent cranes? What happens in Louisiana could answer that question.

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