4th cohort of whooping cranes released into the wild

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Thursday Janurary 2, 2014...the day the newest cohort of cranes had been looking forward to (even though they didn't know it)!
 
That date marked the day the department released the birds from the top-netted pen into the marshes surrounding White Lake. It is an exciting day for eveyone invloved especially the birds as it is their first day of unristricted flight. You have to keep in mind that the birds are raised in a captive facility prior to their arrival in Louisiana. Once we receive the birds, they are placed within the top-netted pen to allow them time to acclimate to the new environment. They can take short ditance flights within the pen, however nothing like being "where the sky is the limit" literally...
 
It is a truly unique expierence watching their realization of this new concept.... flying. Some take to flight with the greatest of ease...and some get it right after a time or two. Regardless though, you can tell that they are fascinated with their new found ability and the opportunity to explore.
 
I am truly grateful to have been part of this process and have witnessed this event. As with each of the previous groups, I wish each bird a long and prosperous life in their new Louisiana home.
 
Welcome home to the 2013 Louisiana cohort of cranes!
 
Whooping cranes, what a great example of ....endangered means there is still time!
 
Carrie