Lea Craig-Moore's Report: Getting Closer!
April 16, 2010
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Reporting from the northern end of the natural (western) flock's migration trail is Lea Craig-Moore. Lea takes the place of our long-time scientist/reporter Brian Johns, who retired. Lea has exciting news for us as the migration starts to near the far-north nesting grounds:

Dear Journey North,

Things are still quiet on the Whooping Crane front in Saskatchewan. So far we have had only one report called in to the Whooping Crane Hotline; it was a single bird seen from April 6-9 near Ituna, SK. Do you see on on the Journey North migration map? The bird was alone in a stubble field.

You have met the two newly-banded cranes (RAY and YAY) and I have exciting news about one of them: I went out to see RAY on April 13. He (or she??) was near Cudworth, still with both parents. The parents do not appear to be driving RAY off just yet as they seemed to move about as a tight group. I am very hopeful that RAY's family will arrive in Wood Buffalo together before RAY leaves his parents to wander and explore. We know there is a lot of variation in when parents separate from their young, and we know that in past years, several families did not split until they reached the breeding territories. If RAY arrives with his parents at their nesting territory in Wood Buffalo National Park, we will be able to gather more interesting information about this juvenile. Time will tell!

The weather will be improving the next few days, hopefully bringing with it more of the cranes. I'll be back next week with more news.

Lea Craig-Moore

Wildlife Technician | Technicienne de la faune
Environment Canada | Environnement Canada
Canadian Wildlife Service
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada