Image for School days

School days

Duration: 02:41

Day 1 in crane school, and the baby birds are real heros, doing everything they've been asked to do. They now follow the dinner lady attentively, eating as they go, walking, running, even having a splash around in the crane school pool. The first term at crane school is all about physical education. With the chicks now at three weeks old, the team expect them to be walking 2-300 metres a day. They must do whatever is necessary to grow their legs long and straight, with a firm lean body - they need to be good and fit by the end of the term. Day 7 sees the first case of bad behaviour in the playground. Crane chicks fight each other to compete for the attention of the adults, and these youngsters are no different. In the wild the females hatch two eggs, but will often only rear one bird to adulthood. Here at crane school, fighting is not allowed, so the chicks need one to one supervision to help prevent the fighting and make sure they all grow up big and strong. Day 14 and the young birds have taken to geophaging - eating dirt or clay. The downside to this is that the birds may ingest the eggs of roundworm, which may block their windpipes. Here at school the chicks get medicine to help with this problem, and to make sure the birds associate handling and other bad things with humans, this is all done out of the crane costumes.

Available since: Wed 2 Jun 2010

Credits

Key talent
Bill Oddie
Key talent
Kate Humble
Key talent
Simon King

This clip is from

Springwatch 2008, Episode 6

The latest reports from the marathon wildlife event.

First broadcast: 03 Jun 2008

Image for Episode 6 Not currently available on BBC iPlayer

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