Crane NEWS FLASH! March
#107. Click to enlarge!
“Experienced Ultracranes” Underway!
Today we got news that the spring migration is underway for several older
flock members of the ultralight-led whooping cranes! By the end of last
week, #106 was on migration in Indiana, #107 was on migration in Tennessee,
and #101, #102, #205, #208, #216, and #217 had left their wintering area
in Pasco County, Florida. Other whooping cranes remained at the same Florida
locations they occupied during the previous week. There were no observed
interactions between migratory and nonmigratory whooping cranes. More
#107 turned up Friday evening, March 12, in Tennessee. Check
out this photo (see Web), taken at 6:45 that evening! Do you see the
white leg bands? Operation Migration’s Heather Ray (a.k.a. OM’s
CSI, or Crane Surveillance Investigation team), “It’s difficult
to see the Green (left) and Red (right), but since all other cranes
except #106 were accounted for, and #106's bands do not include a white
on the right leg, it has to be #107.” What do YOU think? See:Meet
the Flock/Banding Codes 2001
Charles and Marcella Kaldenbach are the lucky and thrilled birdwatchers
who took the photo from their yard on the opposite side of the crane’s
“stopover” lake in Roane County, Tennessee. They sent it
to Operation Migration, saying, “The whooping crane in the photo
was with several (approximately a dozen) young sandhills.” Thank
you, Heather, for sharing the photo with Journey North!
as exciting as the migration is that we’re sharing a rare glimpse
of the elusive Crane #107, last seen at Hiwassee Refuge in late November.
- Two reports
of a single migrating crane on Saturday (March 13) in south Indiana
were both credible. The birds were likely headed to Jasper Pulaski Wildlife
Area. Could it be #106? Could it be #107? Confirmation showed it was
#106! (Cranes #106 and #107 both have nonfunctioning radio transmitters
so they can only be tracked by visual sightings.) And. . .
- The group
of six that wintered in Pasco County, Florida, departed sometime after
the morning of March 14. The group includes #101, 102, 205, 208, 216
and 217. Who are these birds? See Meet
the Flock 2001 and Meet
the Flock 2002.
The 16 youngsters
(ultralight-led chicks from Hatch Year 2003) are still content at their
wintering site in Florida. But anything can happen now! Last year they
left on April 1, so get set to share the excitement of their first-ever
The Next Crane Migration Update Will Be Posted on March
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