Swamp Monster!

Photo WCEP

Sometimes the crane chicks want to hang out in the swamp. But the pilots want them to follow the ultralight plane. How can they get the cranes out of the swamp?

Sometimes the older whoopers try to take over the training area or even the pen at the Florida winter home where the chicks spend their first winter. It's natural for them to want to be back, but they need to learn to go off and find their own territory now. Who can chase them away?

For now, "Swamp Monster" does the job.

You can see that Swamp Monster is really a pilot or crane caretaker under a big camouflage canvas. The swamp monster shakes the canvas to make loud noises. The birds have never seen or heard anything like it, so they get scared. They take off running or flying to get away! A young crane heads for something known and safe, like the ultralight "parent." An older crane takes off for a safer territory.

Photo WCEP

Try This! Journal Question

  • From clues above, how do you imagine the Swamp Monster sounds?
  • Why is this type of noise okay within the strict protocol (rules) for raising and training the cranes?