How the Western Flock's Nesting Grounds Were Discovered

Contributed By

Hunter H. for the fourth graders,
Alexander Middle School in Nekoosa, Wisconsin

The Western flock winters in Texas and summers on the nesting grounds in Canada's far north.
A pair of cranes and their unison call. (click for sound)
Crane on Nest in Canada.
Photos Brian Johns, CWS

“Robert Porter Allen tried to find the whooping crane nesting place in Canada for many years. Another person actually found it. On June 30, 1954 a helicopter pilot, Don Landalls, and Mr. Wilson, who worked for the forestry department, saw three whooping cranes on their way back from a forest fire. The helicopter was on the way to a forest fire in Wood Buffalo National Park in Canada. They had Bill Fuller fly with them. He worked for the Canadian Wildlife Service and was looking for the cranes too. Bill Fuller took pictures for proof. It was good news for the cranes that they were building their nests in a protected national forest! Everyone was happy to know where the birds lived in the summer; it didn't matter to them which person found it first.”

Try This! More Research
See books the Nekoosa students used for research to find out more about important Whooping crane discoveries. The books may be in your school or community libraries.

McCoy, J.J. The Hunt for the Whooping Cranes: A Natural History Detective Story. New York: Paul S. Eriksson, 1996.

Faith McNulty. The Whooping Crane. New York: E.P. Dutton, 1966.