Eastern Flock Report: Mostly Home, No New Nests

April 23, 2010
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Class of 2009
All birds from the Classes of 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 have completed migration, and just a few cranes from the other years are still on their way. Four crossed the finish line this week. What about the Class of 2009? Crane-kids #906 and #912, who departed St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge on April 14, arrived in Wisconsin April 21—and then left for Iowa! Eva Szyszkoski, ICF Tracking Field Manager, picked up the signals from the cranes' radio transmitters as the birds were flying over the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge in the afternoon. Matt, ICF Tracking Intern, then followed the birds for another five hours. The birds crossed out of Wisconsin and into Iowa, where they landed to roost in a wetland in Allamakee County. Their spring wanderings are typical of birds this age, but it's great to know they flew over their "home."

When do you think female 907 will be home? We're also still waiting for Direct Autumn Release (DAR) birds 34-09, 35-09, 36-09 and 41-09. C'mon, cranes!

Nesting Update
After last week's disappointing news of all nests failing, Sara reports: "No signs of renesting yet. Male #402 was seen building a nest on his territory recently but apparently his mate 46-07 DAR wasn't helping — just foraging nearby.

"A number of the breeding pairs moved off the refuge after they abandoned their nests. This is the same thing we've seen in past years
(we think maybe they're really trying to escape the black flies) and are still spending time off the refuge. If or when they come back to the
refuge we'll hope for some renesting then."
Keep your fingers crossed.

Check the Finish Line and complete your own Arrival Log.


Photos Matt Strausser, ICF
#906 and #912 return to WI

They leave and roost in Iowa!