Whooping Crane Whooping Crane
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Whooping Crane NEWS FLASH! March 16, 2004

See #107. Click to enlarge!

Several “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 details:

  • Crane #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!

WOW! Just 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. Here's more:

  • 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 journey north!

The Next Crane Migration Update Will Be Posted on
March 26, 2004.

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