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Zach at the Zoo: Meet the White-Naped Crane

Posted at 7:06 AM, May 09, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-09 08:06:00-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — In this week's edition of Zach at the Zoo, we are better introduced to the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium's White-Naped Cranes — Frazier and Moyling. The two had never produced eggs until now.

  • White-naped cranes grow up to around four feet tall
  • Fraizer and Moyling have been at the zoo since the Asian Highlands opened
  • The two love birds were deemed a reccommended breeding pair, but haven't reproduced until two eggs were laid a few weeks ago.


They have been residents at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium since 2017.

“Frazier and Moyling — they are white-naped cranes,” Lead Keeper of Birds Tim Shaw said.

These birds are tall and tough.

“They can take extremely cold temperatures. The only time we actually pull them in is if it gets really cold and we have deep snow in their pen,” Shaw said. “Then you have to worry about frostbite on the feet.”

And typically like to hangout on the ground – where they do most of their feeding.

“Mainly insects. These guys love to dig down into the ground, so anything they can find,” Shaw said. “If it’s muddy out here, they’ll be out hammering away in the ground.”

The flock here in Omaha – potentially growing.

“Currently they have two eggs so we’re hoping to have success in breeding them,” Shaw told us.

Both assuming their roles as responsible parents.

“He is kind of aggressive. Right now, he is very protective of the nest,” Shaw said.

“She has been an excellent mom. The mom will stand up over the eggs and rotate them with her beak. It’s important that gets done, because otherwise the egg yolk can stick on the shell. So, they have to constantly move them and rotate them.”

The love birds even celebrating their parenting skills together

“Usually once we go in and feed, a lot of times, they will display together and vocalize together, because they successfully defended their territory,” Shaw said.

Now we wait.

“These guys have been together for several years. They haven’t produced eggs so this is the first big step,” Shaw said. “Now, whether they are valuable eggs or not is the next question. But we will know that in about roughly — it takes about 30 days for the egg incubation.”

“And then we will find out. We would love to have chicks. If not, we will try again next year.”

You can see Frazier and Moyling, and soon, potentially a couple little ones, at the Asian Highlands.