It took a while. Three sleepless nights to be exact, before I was finally able to document the hatch of a Whooping Crane chick at the International Crane Foundation (ICF) savingcranes.org. Patience, sure a photographer needs some, but three sleepless nights. All in all I would do it all over, as it was a fantastic opportunity to document the actual hatch of the endangered Whooping Crane.
The hatch is the starting point to the project I am working on, “Hatch to Release”, which will document the Direct Autumn Release D.A.R. program at ICF. Since 2005, a method of rearing and reintroducing Whooping Cranes—Direct Autumn Release (DAR)—has been conducted by ICF and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. DAR chicks are raised by biologists at ICF using costume rearing protocols.
At 04:45 Thursday June 13, 2013 a Whooping Crane chick cracked itself out of its shell inside of an incubator in the hatching room at ICF.
It had been a pretty lonely night much like the first two, the difference this time was I could actually see things progressing.
Enjoy some photos of the hatch process below and follow the chicks weekly as they grow on their way to release and finally migration late this fall.
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