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A lot can change in the space of a few weeks

Well perhaps I shouldn’t have spoken so soon, the reign of Clarence as number one crane was rather short lived to say the least! After about a week and once both cohorts were relatively peaceful, or a peaceful as can be considering the inhabitants are all young cranes with occasional penchants for rather violent behaviour to each other. It was time to mix both cohorts together, this had made both Amy and myself rather nervous especially if you remember that the alpha position in the other cohort was held by the notorious pint sized nut case “Minnie the fearless thistle eater” and whilst Clarence’s cohort was a generally peaceful affair, Minnie’s cohort was far more volatile, with the position of top dog being maintained through aggression and domination of any other crane foolish enough to challenge for the top spot.
Finally the day came that week had to just bite the bullet and mix the two cohorts, just in case you were wondering why we would mix birds when we knew there would be some sort of aggression between them, the rearing process for these birds waits for no man or bird and if we were to try and hold it back too much it could have had a detrimental effect on the group as a whole. So it was therefore imperative that we got all the birds into one group ASAP!

Minnie MunchingThe initial mixing of the two groups could have been seen as both a positive and negative affair, the positive side was that it went as both Amy and I had expected. The negative side however was that there was an all out face to face fight between Minnie and Clarence with Gemma (Yellow band left leg), joining in on Clarence’s side.

Fortunately we managed to separate the fight and for the next couple of days whilst one of us walked the group the other would stick to Minnie like glue attempting to keep her and Clarence and co separated. Eventually after a couple days stalemate the first to crack was Gemma, she was always Clarence’s side kick and once Minnie confronted her out of his presence she soon ran away. Minnie then turned her attention onto Clarence running at him they started fighting, this time it felt a little bit different and sure enough Clarence backed down and ran away. This was made all the more bizarre by the fact that Clarence was half as big again as Minnie!

Thankfully things soon settled down after this, although Minnie appeared to initially dominate a number of the higher ranking cranes when they were let out each morning for about a week or so after become alpha of the whole cohort.
Although this had the added benefit of taking the pressure of the lowest ranking cranes who were previously kept on the edges of the group by the other more dominant birds.
Minnie even appears to have something of a friend, well more of a bird that is tolerated more than the others, Daisy (red and blue), who recently has even been seen feeding from the same food bowl as Minnie, something none of the other birds would dare try!

- Roland

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