Zoo announces the birth of two cranes
The chicks, whose gender is not yet known, were born on May 12 and May 14.
The biological mother of both chicks was artificially inseminated after she laid her first eggs at the end of March. The eggs that successfully hatched were laid April 10 and 13. The incubation period ranges from 28 to 32 days.
The first chick is being raised by an experienced pair of white-naped cranes, and the second chick is being raised by first-time parents that include its biological mother.
White-naped cranes are large birds that typically grow about four feet tall and weigh about 12 pounds. They are dark-gray in color with a distinctive white hind neck. The wild population has decline because of destruction of its native wetland habitats in China, Russia and Korea. Currently, scientists estimate there are about 5,000 in the wild. There are 12 cranes at the Smithsonian's institute.
Washington Post editors
| May 26, 2010; 11:12 AM ET
Categories: DC, Maryland, Virginia | Tags: National Zoo, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
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