Jeanine Lackey, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reporting from Grand Island, Nebraska advises, “folks in Nebraska have been busy, especially over the last weekend when favorable migration conditions produced an influx of whooping cranes. One large group of birds (19:2) was the source of much publicity and attracted a few photographers wanting to get extra close”.
Twenty whooping cranes were observed roosting in Central Platte River at Rowe Sanctuary and upstream. Several probable and unconfirmed reports from South Dakota and North Dakota were also received. Reports from radio tracked whoopers indicate that all 11 birds are currently in the migration flyway and no tracked birds remain at Aransas.
Should a government shutdown occur next week, federal employees will not be allowed to use their government computer or phone. Therefore, only cooperators using their personal equipment and time will be monitoring the whooping crane population. If the government shutdown does not occur, normal operations will continue.