crane migration is almost complete. Only a few stragglers are still
A Wayward Juvenile in Manitoba
week I talked about young cranes separating from their parents.
Well, we have another documented case this spring.
A single juvenile whooping crane was observed this week just south
of Winnipeg, Manitoba. This bird has traveled several hundred
kilometers east of the main whooper flyway to Wood Buffalo National
Park. I suspect
that this young whooper likely followed sandhill cranes after separation
from its parents. Sandhill cranes migrating through central Manitoba
spend a great deal of time along the Platte River in Nebraska in
spring. The Platte River is also an area that whooping cranes use
It is likely that this bird separated from its parents somewhere
near there and then traveled with sandhills into Manitoba. This bird
likely spend the summer in southern Manitoba before returning to
the Platte River in the fall and then continuing migration further
the Breeding Grounds
Meanwhile the breeding birds have established territories, built
nests, laid their eggs and are currently incubating. Whooping
cranes lay their eggs a couple of days apart but they start incubating
when the first
one is laid. This results in the eggs hatching about 2 days apart.
Incubation takes 30 days
and is shared by both parents. This means that the first eggs will
hatch during the last week of May and the last ones to hatch will be
around the second week of June. I start
breeding pair surveys next week and hope to find over 60 nesting pairs.
Have a great
summer, and check back in the fall for the results of the
2006 nesting season in Canada!
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