Whopping Crane Migration Update


Jeanine Lackey, Fish and Wildlife Biologist,U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, compiled the following information reported to the Grand Island Field Office depicting confirmed whooping crane migration sightings:

Forty-five sightings have been confirmed in the central flyway since March 4, 2011.  In addition to the confirmed reports, the Service received 18 unconfirmed and 5 probable reports.  The breakdown of confirmed reports by state is as follows:

NE = 19 ND = 11
SD = 8
KS = 4
OK = 2
MT = 1

Mark Bidwell of Environment Canada reports that several birds have been confirmed in Saskatchewan.  Tom Stehn, Aransas NWR reported that two cranes were still present at Aransas on April 17, but those two birds were not relocated on subsequent checks.
During the Spring 2011 migration a large lateral movement of a single group of cranes was documented.  These banded birds roosted on the Platte River at Rowe Sanctuary and were confirmed using a restored wetland 26 miles due west two days later.  An interesting movement pattern.
Four of the radio tagged cranes have been observed on the ground thus far during the spring migration. One of these birds, radio-g/y, was confirmed in Kearney County, NE on April 5th and then confirmed again in Morton County, ND 4 days later.
Ms. Lackey and the Whooping Crane Conservation Association appreciates all involved for your hard work.