As mentioned in last week's Blog, Craig, (one of our Headkeepers), recently drove to Belgium and the Netherlands to collect selected Cranes for a new breeding programme here at Seaview Wildlife.
Over the past few days the Cranes have been adjusting to their new surroundings. Located in enclosures neighbouring those of their new mates, there has been much interest and obvious eagerness for closer contact expressed by all the Cranes. So, this morning, 18th February, we took the plunge and allowed the introductions to start..... we were ready to intervene at the first sign of aggression ......but, the great news is that blending of birds has gone better than we could have imagined!!
Image above shows our new female Crowned Crane. Shes' only a youngster and compared with our mature male has quite unremarkable plumage. We were concerned that our male, who has been on his own for some time now, may overwhelm her, or even attack her. However, on the contrary - he became immediately protective of his new mate, preening her and then opening his wings to warn the Keepers to keep at bay .....
Within the first five minutes the two Crowned Cranes were eating together - the male immediately accepting his new lady friend. Both birds seemed to be extremely relaxed in each other's company. The Keepers watched with anticipation - we all agreed that to see such eager acceptance and integration is one of the highlights of our job and makes everything so worthwhile!