Nicasio reservoir flying. I know not supposed to be here! Big bird, pure white with black wing tips. Not a white pelican. Snow goose?
Three Whooping Cranes flying northward, high above the house.
We saw one last year. And heard one in March.
Individuals in captive breeding program - I'm sure this won't count, but too cool not to post.
Weather: 54F, 100% cloudy, rain (mild/light), 10mph NE.
At first, 7 cranes were spotted in the middle on an open field with short grass, about 150-200 m north of the road and about 90-100m south of the pond. The field they were located in appeared to have been maintained (cut or grazed regularly) due to human management. The habitat surrounding the field could be classified as live oak woodlands and the soil of this area was very sandy/salty. We were told that these Whooping cranes were members of a flock of about 340 birds that come down to this area during November through early March and then fly north to Northern Alberta during the other months of the year. All seven cranes were standing either preening or with heads tucked next to body. The flock was intermixed with white Ibis. At 10:03, 3 more whooping cranes flew and landed in the flock from the east. As they flew and landed, vocalizations could be heard from the whooping cranes located on the ground, in the flock. As the 3 cranes landed, the Ibis flew away. About 20 grackles were located about 20m south of the whooping crane flock. Then 2 more whooping cranes, that were located about ~100m from the main flock left. The birds were identifiable by their large white bodies with a long neck, red face, black primary feathers, and black legs.
Single crane observed with no accompanying sandhills. Location was from bridge on 971. First observed feeding in dried grassy area to west of the channel then it took flight and flew into the water as shown where it continued to feed for over an hour. This bird has been in this area since 2/16. In early Jan there were several sightings of a single bird about 5 miles south of this location.
International Crane Foundation, Wisconsin
Got to see a Whooping Crane at "Sandhill Station" this morning! What a great experience!
I added my sighting to the Whooping Crane Observation site here: http://www.fws.gov/midwest/whoopingcrane/sightings/sightingform.cfm
Heavy overcast/light rain. Temp in the 30s. No leg bands.
Apparently the first detection of this family group this winter at Granger Lake. Also photographed by Greg Lasley on Feb. 19; one of the adults was banded.
The Whooping Crane (Grus americana), the tallest North American bird, is an endangered crane species named for its whooping sound. In 2003, there were about 153 pairs of whooping cranes. Along with the Sandhill Crane, it is one of only two crane species found in North America. The Whooping Crane's lifespan is estimated to be 22 to 24 years in the wild. After being pushed to the brink of extinction by unregulated hunting and loss of...