Friday, September 9, 2011

Whooping Cranes

For the second time this year, on 9 September 2011, two Whooping Cranes were discovered in Rice County. Ray Simon first found the birds, which grazed in a wetland on the south side of 90th Street East (Old Dutch Road), a couple of miles west of Decker Avenue. Like the cranes seen this spring, these birds are from the flock that breeds in Wisconsin and winters in Florida (see below). Although the birds are about a quarter-mile from the roadside, observers are cautioned not to trespass into the field or wetland and to use caution against disturbing the cranes.
Eva Szyszkoski of the International Crane Foundation writes: "Based on the bands I could pull off of your photos, these two birds are adult breeding pair numbers 7-07 and 39-07. They are both four years old. They nested this year near the Necedah NWR but abandoned their nest on 4 May. Two eggs were collected (one infertile, one fertile but addled). They have a history of moving into Minnesota in the summer or fall every year (except for last year when they molted and were unable to fly for ~6 weeks). They will most likely begin migration south from Minnesota and will not return to Wisconsin before then. No. 7-07 was raised and released using the ultra-light release method and no. 39-07 was raised and released using the Direct Autumn Release method. They have been together for about three years now."

1 comment:

  1. A comment on my blog said two whoopers were seen on 9/26 and 9/28 in the company of many Sandhill Cranes near the intersection of Rice County 12 and Le Sueur Ave. (west of Faribault). On 9/29, no Whooping Cranes but 74 sandhills.