This is an excerpt from A Whooping Crane Diary by Jeff Ross.

Servicing the Isolation Yards

With the birds locked inside, we service the outside yards and runs, walking free without the need of costumes, filling food bowls, scrubbing ponds, sifting droppings from sand, raked smooth of all the three-toed tracks. As a human, I have a strange feeling moving in these surroundings; we walk in straight lines, faster, with a purpose that leaves no doubt that we have other places to go, other tasks to accomplish. Ant-efficient, we clean the yards, and I think how different we are in costume, our cautious deliberate wanderings, our close attention to the grass, the grounds, waters, hawks, flowers, and all the game lurking in the leaves and litter. I know the importance of a sip of water, the reflexive attention to a panting chick, crooked toe, a prized cricket; I am a better naturalist as a bird.