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Growing fast and forming groups

Over the last couple of weeks things, things are changing at an incredible rate, it never fails to amaze me how much the birds have grown after a couple of days off. We now have the birds exercising in two cohorts, this is so much better as we can now devote the necessary time to the birds, with the added advantage than in their cohorts they'll be imprinting on each other and not the bizarre grey shapes that have been taking them for walks and feeding them.

The older cohort which consists of ten birds including Clarence, are really starting to mellow and have now reached that point in their lives that they can be left along for long periods to forage around the exercise area for themselves. This is really important now as they need to start to find things out for themselves and sort out the hierarchies of the respective groups. This whole process has become far more civilized now days, with differences being sorted out more and more ritually, rather than the face to face violence we used to see with the younger birds. Although our birds are still very teenage and gawky, some of the older birds are beginning to look quite majestic as they crane (so that's where that word comes from), their necks, puff out their chests and prance around, thus discovering who is the largest and strongest without causing any serious injuries to their other companions in the cohort.

This brings me finally to Clarence, as I have already said in previous posts, he's head and shoulders above the rest of the birds and with the new style civilized cohort his greater size has come to the forefront and over the last couple of weeks he's been able rise through the ranks to become the alpha crane!
Who would have believed it the crane who was too scared to come out of his run at first is now the king of the cranes, so long live Clarence and good luck with your impending release.     

- Roland

three cranes feeding peacefully together

Photo above - Clarence (with the blue band on left leg), feeding peacfully with some other members of his cohort.

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