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Sex determination

This week we had to take blood from the birds to test for various diseases, which thankfully they are clear of. This also gave us the chance to take a feather sample from each to send away for sex determination. If we do not test for this we will not be able to tell male from female until they start to breed at around 4 years old, the birds are not sexually dimorphic so both sexes look the same. The results came back today and we have 13 females and 9 males! This is an excellent ratio and we are really pleased. The only problem is some of our nicknames for the birds might have been slightly wrong, so Minnie is actually a boy, as is Pansy. However, we did get Clarence correct!

This lovely looking bird we thought was a girl was actually a boy. He is one of our more timid characters and has never really caused any trouble, even when we first started to mix the birds together.

timid looking crane

This fluffed up individual, nicknamed Chris, turned out to be a girl, so is now Chrissy!

Chris the crane

This was also the case for this bird who, as you can see, still needs to loose a bit of down on her head. In this recent rain it looks a bit like she has been using hair gel as it goes spikey, so growing feathers instead will look much more elegant!

feathery spikes

One of our best looking birds at the moment 'red left', who was also the first to fly properly, is a male. You can see he has a much more hansome look about him!

view of crane head with plumage now grown

Finally, this is a male we also predicted to be a male! He was having a bit of a scratching and preening session and you can really see how well developed the feathers are on the head and neck area.

young crane having a scratch!

head shot of young crane preening

- Amy

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