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Devonian Wildlife Conservation Area
and The Nat Christie Foundation
Whooping Crane Breeding Facility

The Calgary Zoo established the Devonian Wildlife Conservation Centre (DWCC) in 1984. We call it the zoo ranch. It consists of 320 acres along Dunbow Road, SE of Calgary. There is a large slough, maintained from natural runoff, as well as a cattail marsh, cultivated cropland and hay fields, a small amount of native prairie, and small clumps of native and planted aspen, poplar, and white spruce. It is a private breeding facility that is not open to the public. A general birdlist has been maintained at the zoo ranch, and a total of 200 species have been identified over the years 1984-2005. The following are some of the highlights over the years.

Pacific Loon - seen once May 15, 2000
Cattle Egret - seen once in May of 1992
Great Egret - seen once May 27, 2001
Wood Duck - occasional male seen in past 6 years
Eurasian Wigeon - occasional male seen in past 10 years
Long-tailed Duck - seen once May 10, 1997
Red-breasted Merganser - seen once April 12, 1999
Snowy Owl - seen once in late 1984
Northern Hawk Owl - seen once late 1984
Long-eared Owl - seen once November 12, 2003
Loggerhead Shrike - nested here in 2004, only time seen
Townsend's Solitaire - seen once October 5, 2005
Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow - nested here in 2003
Lazuli Bunting - seen once May 23, 1998
Evening Grosbeak - seen once late 1984
Pine Grosbeak - seen once late 1984

Dwight P. Knapik
Zoo Keeper
De Winton, Alberta

Photos by Allan Cole

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Przewalski Horses
Equus ferus prezewalski
Devonian Wildlife Conservation Area
Calgary Zoo Ranch
De Winton, AB
2001/12/08
Przewalski Horse
Equus ferus prezewalski
Mother and Daughter
Devonian Wildlife Conservation Area
Calgary Zoo Ranch
De Winton, AB
2005/10/09
Przewalski Horse
Equus ferus prezewalski
Mother and Daughter
Devonian Wildlife Conservation Area
Calgary Zoo Ranch
De Winton, AB
2005/10/09
The Nat Christie Foundation
Whooping Crane Breeding Facility
Calgary Zoo Ranch
De Winton, AB
2001/12/08
Whooping Crane Egg Incubator
Zoo keeper Dwight Knapik holding ceramic egg
The Nat Christi Foundation
Whooping Crane Breeding Facility
Calgary Zoo Ranch
De Winton, AB
2001/12/08
Whooping Crane Egg Incubator
Zoo keeper Dwight Knapik explaining temperature control
The Nat Christi Foundation
Whooping Crane Breeding Facility
Calgary Zoo Ranch
De Winton, AB
2001/12/08
Young Whooping Crane Center
The Nat Christie Foundation
Whooping Crane Breeding Facility
Calgary Zoo Ranch
De Winton, AB
2005/10/09
Sandhill Crane Pens
Grus canadensis
The Nat Christie Foundation
Whooping Crane Breeding Facility
Calgary Zoo Ranch
De Winton, AB
2003/09/19
Sandhill Crane - male
Grus canadensis
The Nat Christie Foundation
Whooping Crane Breeding Facility
Calgary Zoo Ranch
De Winton, AB
2001/12/08
Sandhill Crane - female
Grus canadensis
The Nat Christie Foundation
Whooping Crane Breeding Facility
Calgary Zoo Ranch
De Winton, AB
2001/12/08
Sandhill Cranes
Grus canadensis
Male and Juvenile
The Nat Christie Foundation
Whooping Crane Breeding Facility
Calgary Zoo Ranch
De Winton, AB
2003/09/19
Sandhill Crane - male

Grus canadensis
Note: The Red on the head is skin, the ear tuffs are a display and the nictitating membrane is wiping over his eye.

The Nat Christie Foundation
Whooping Crane Breeding Facility
Calgary Zoo Ranch
De Winton, AB
2003/09/19

Juvenile Sandhill Crane raised by a pair of Whooping Cranes
Grus canadensis
The Nat Christie Foundation
Whooping Crane Breeding Facility
Calgary Zoo Ranch
De Winton, AB
2005/10/09
CFNS group touring the Crane pens
Dwight Knapik - Zoo Keeper
Tour guide
The Nat Christie Foundation
Whooping Crane Breeding Facility
Calgary Zoo Ranch
De Winton, AB
2001/12/08
Whooping Crane Pens
Grus americana
The Nat Christie Foundation
Whooping Crane Breeding Facility
Calgary Zoo Ranch
De Winton, AB
2001/12/08
Whooping Crane Pens
Grus americana
The Nat Christie Foundation
Whooping Crane Breeding Facility
Calgary Zoo Ranch
De Winton, AB
2001/12/08
Whooping Crane pair
Grus americana
Male (L) and Female (R)
Przewalski Horses in back
The Nat Christie Foundation
Whooping Crane Breeding Facility
Calgary Zoo Ranch
De Winton, AB
2001/12/08
Whooping Crane pair
Grus americana
Female (L) and Male (R)
The Nat Christie Foundation
Whooping Crane Breeding Facility
Calgary Zoo Ranch
De Winton, AB
2001/12/08
Whooping Crane - male
Grus americana
The Nat Christie Foundation
Whooping Crane Breeding Facility
Calgary Zoo Ranch
De Winton, AB
2001/12/08
Whooping Crane - male
Grus americana
The Nat Christie Foundation
Whooping Crane Breeding Facility
Calgary Zoo Ranch
De Winton, AB
2001/12/08
Whooping Crane - male
Grus americana
The Nat Christie Foundation
Whooping Crane Breeding Facility
Calgary Zoo Ranch
De Winton, AB
2001/12/08
Whooping Crane - male
Grus americana
The Nat Christie Foundation
Whooping Crane Breeding Facility
Calgary Zoo Ranch
De Winton, AB
2001/12/08
Whooping Crane - male
Grus americana
The Nat Christie Foundation
Whooping Crane Breeding Facility
Calgary Zoo Ranch
De Winton, AB
2003/09/19
Whooping Crane - male
Grus americana
The Nat Christie Foundation
Whooping Crane Breeding Facility
Calgary Zoo Ranch
De Winton, AB
2003/09/19
Whooping Cranes
Grus americana
Male, Juvenile and Female
The Nat Christie Foundation
Whooping Crane Breeding Facility
Calgary Zoo Ranch
De Winton, AB
2003/09/19
Whooping Crane - Juvenile
Grus americana
The Nat Christie Foundation
Whooping Crane Breeding Facility
Calgary Zoo Ranch
De Winton, AB
2003/09/19
Whooping Crane - Juvenile
Grus americana
The Nat Christie Foundation
Whooping Crane Breeding Facility
Calgary Zoo Ranch
De Winton, AB
2005/10/09
Whooping Crane - Juvenile
Grus americana
The Nat Christie Foundation
Whooping Crane Breeding Facility
Calgary Zoo Ranch
De Winton, AB
2005/10/09
Male Whooping Crane (white)
Grus americana
Juvenile Sandhill Crane (grey)
Grus canadensis
raised by this pair of Whooping Cranes

Note: To train Whooping Cranes to breed in captivity. A Sandhill Crane egg is given to a pair of Whooping Cranes to incubate and raise during the first year. This helps promote successful egg laying and chick raising in the following years. In the fall the young Sandhill Crane is put in with other Sandhill Cranes.

The Nat Christie Foundation
Whooping Crane Breeding Facility
Calgary Zoo Ranch
De Winton, AB
2005/10/09

Male Whooping Crane (white)
Grus americana
Juvenile Sandhill Crane (grey)
Grus canadensis
raised by this pair of Whooping Cranes
The Nat Christie Foundation
Whooping Crane Breeding Facility
Calgary Zoo Ranch
De Winton, AB
2005/10/09
Dwight Knapik - Zoo Keeper
Whooping Crane Feeding Costume
The Nat Christie Foundation
Whooping Crane Breeding Facility
Calgary Zoo Ranch
De Winton, AB
2001/12/08
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about these photos is appreciated.

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