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A New Life for Two Whooping Crane Chicks
By Mark Chenoweth of Whooper Happenings

Meet Bode and Ohno
Ohno, a female, is in front. Do you see her white cheeks? Bode, a male, is in back. After hatching, they were named after two athletes who won Olympic medals.

Photo: Mark Chenoweth

“We actually name the birds at the International Crane Foundation (ICF). But we don’t call them like pets,” says Marianne Wellington. She is a biologist with ICF, where these birds were hatched and raised to be Direct Autumn Release (DAR) birds. They were supposed to be released with four other DAR chicks to hang out with the new flock's older cranes. Then the DAR chicks can follow the older birds south, and learn the Whooping Crane migration route from them.

“The name theme for 2006 [the year they hatched] was the Olympics," said Marianne. "I asked people to suggest names connected with the Olympics. So, we had Bode (#29-06), a skier, and Ohno (#31-06), a skater.”