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September 19, 2003

Behind the Scenes
Flight training is a daily event as long as weather permits. But other duties keep the crane handlers and trainers busy many for hours each day. For example, Sara Zimorski works with 15,000 mealworms in the clip below. Why are mealworms so important to crane training?

clip 1: Meet Sara
Watch It Now!
clip 2: Mealworms for Robo-crane
Watch It Now!

Text of Mealworm clip:
"We provide treats to the chicks after they do flights and stuff. We have puppets that can dispense treats, and a lot of what we use are these mealworms. We order mealworms 5,000 to 15,000 at a time, and they come in the mail. We have to empty them outof the bag they come in and we put them in cornmeal. We put half a potato in there so they have some moisture to keep them alive and we turn them into crane food!"

It's the crane puppet that gives the cranes the mealworms. How? Meet Robo-Crane and find out!

Try This! Journaling Question
  • Dan Sprague with Robo-crane

    Why is such extreme care taken to hide any human forms or sounds from the young cranes? What suggestions, if any, can you think of to improve Robo-Crane?

  • What rewards did you like when you were very young? What rewards do you prefer now? Why do you think rewards work so well for training?
Journey North is pleased to feature this educational adventure made possible by the
Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership (WCEP).

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