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Date: April 30 2007 - Entry 4 Reporter:

Liz Condie

Subject:

Now pipped – soon to be peeping

Location:

Main Office

Bev called to report that 3 eggs in the incubator have pipped. One chick has already pecked away enough shell that it is visible and Bev expects it to hatch out very soon. "The other two chicks shouldn't be far behind," she said, "a day or two at most."

In addition to these three, they expect two more hatches by the end of the week so the chick crew will soon be hopping.

Bev promised to send along some photos with her next update.

Date: April 30 2007 - Entry 3 Reporter:

Liz Condie

Subject:

Demise of 615

Location:

Main Office

It is with immense sadness we report that 615, the only surviving member of the Class of 2006, was found dead by Mary Barnwell (Southwest Florida Water Management District) earlier today. Mary had been tracking him on the ground. 615 was found in the area he usually frequented on the Halpata-Tastanaki Preserve.

There were no apparent signs of predation and no obvious clues as to the cause of his death. This afternoon, the carcass will be sent to Dr. Marilyn Spaulding at the University of Florida's College of Veterinary Medicine for necropsy. We will post the results once they are received.

Date: April 30 2007 - Entry 2 Reporter:

Liz Condie

Subject:

New auction items on offer

Location:

Main Office

OM's eBay auctions will continue through the month of May. We've already been able to provide you with some interesting items, and we've got more for May. To see what's new on the auction block, click OM's eBay auction.

Date: April 30 2007 - Entry 1 Reporter:

Liz Condie

Subject:

Whooper-Thon and Bird-A-Thon

Location:

Main Office

Whooper-Thon
Birder and long time supporter, Vi White of Illinois, is conducting her own personal 'Whooperthon' and this year has selected OM as the beneficiary of her fundraising efforts.

Each year, Vi picks a day when the weather is good and goes out birding as much as possible in a 24-hour period. She asks friends to pledge a lump sum or an amount per species (she says she usually spots between 30 and 40). Through the generosity of another supporter, every pledge will be matched dollar for dollar. If you would like to make a pledge in support of Vi's 'Whooperthon', simply email the amount of your pledge (per species or lump sum) along with your name and mailing address to info@operationmigration.org and we will forward it along.

Vi will email ‘pledgers’ her bird count, collect the checks (made out to Operation Migration) and she will send them along to us in a bundle so we can issue tax deductible receipts. Deadline for Whooperthon pledges is May 10.

Bird-A-Thon

Every spring, Richard Schinkel, an enthusiastic birder from Berrien County, Michigan, gathers with his team and takes part in the Southwest Michigan Team Bird-a-Thon. This is likely the second largest team birding event in the US, and attracts 20 or more groups who regularly see 135 species in one day.

Richard's team, including Chuck Witkoske, Jan Osborn and Carolyn Henning, call themselves the 'Whitethroats and Whoopers'. They are generously donating all their pledges this year to Operation Migration to help save Whooping cranes.

If you would like to support the "Whitethroats and Whoopers" by making a pledge, call Richard at 269-471-2953 or, email him at whitethroa@aol.com. If you are interested in organizing your own team check out the flyer
below.

Date: April 26 2007 - Entry 2 Reporter:

Joe Duff

Subject:

Power of Partnership

Location:

Main Office

Tom Stehn is the Whooping Crane coordinator at the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in Texas. He also represents the Whooping Crane Recovery Team as the co-chair and has the final say on what happens with Whooping cranes in the United States.

Marty Folk is with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and is the coordinator for the Florida Non-migratory flock.

On April 11th Marty and his team found a new Whooping crane nest on the shores of Lake Kissimmee that contained two eggs. Unfortunately it was very close to two airboat trails with lots of traffic.  There was an obvious risk to the eggs and also to the incubating birds as much of the traffic takes place after dark when they are less able to avoid airboat strikes.  The team decided to pull the eggs in a attempt to save them but also to encourage the adults to move to a safer location.

Geneticist, Ken Jones felt the eggs were genetically valuable and they were moved to a waiting incubator at the Disney Animal Kingdom.  There were no other nests in Florida in which the eggs could be cross fostered so Marty, Tom and John French from USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center formulated a plan. Tomorrow (April 27) the eggs will be flown Patuxent to become part of the ultralight cohort. Now that’s the power of partnership.

Date: April 26 2007 - Entry 1 Reporter:

Bev Paulan

Subject:

Activity at PWRC (Video link below)

Location:

PWRC

Things have been very busy here at PWRC. Building preparations continue and chicks still need to be tended to hourly. Because the water system constantly breaks down requiring the staff to hand carry water to the entire captive flock, it is undergoing a revamp. Not to mention PWRC staff’s four daily egg checks, artificial insemination procedures, and egg swapping. All this makes for steady activity with hardly a chance to sit throughout the day.

On Tuesday evening Brooke and I also gave a presentation to a Civil Air Patrol Cadet squadron. It made for a long day, but it is always worth the late nights if it means spreading the gospel of crane conservation.

Wednesday was one of those days that actually allowed for a breather however. After mowing (again) and placing sand in the circle pen, the fun started. This was going to be the first scheduled socialization period for 702 and his Sandhill buddy (aka FSHC 01).

Socialization is a closely supervised activity. Three of us handlers walked the two chicks out to the farm pond to let them not only get used to walking and foraging, but to become accustomed to being with another chick.

Things went well on the walk out with the little ones peeping away and running for all they were worth with their tiny wings outstretched. 702’s peeping alerted a nearby Canada goose gander who thought perhaps he had a gosling escaping his nest so decided it had to be rounded up and protected from the large white creatures.

Needless to say 702 did not like the large waterfowl rushing after him and it took cover in long grass. Brian Clauss chased the goose off while Barb Clauss sat and calmed the chick. In the mean time, I stayed with the Sandhill who acted as if nothing were amiss. This chick is definitely more carefree than his training buddy.

When the two chicks finally discovered each other, I held my breath as I braced for a fight. But all was well. The worst that happened was 702 shied away and the Sandhill found something else to do. Such is the attention span of a week old chick. There is always something more interesting to do.

After their walk to the pond, we lured them into the circle pen for a couple of laps following the puppet, then it was back into their pens for a much needed rest. A full first day of new sights, sounds and activities. Today's activities will include swimming if the weather allows. Almost as good as a cruise! To watch a video clip of 702, click here.

View the photos here in the 2007 Spring photo journal.

Date: April 24 2007 - Entry 2 Reporter:

Bev Paulan

Subject:

Activity at PWRC

Location:

PWRC

The days continue here on a very hectic pace. Still trying to finish all the equipment and building preparations while fitting in hourly feedings on the two chicks. Luckily, there are only two rather than the whole propagation building being full.

702 is growing, albeit very slowly. It is a source of constant worry. 702 was what we call an assisted hatch. That means that it didn’t have the strength to get itself out of the shell and the handler had help by pulling away sections of the shell. As a general rule, when a chick needs assistance in hatching, that bird starts out weaker than a self-hatched chick would be. Such chicks are usually slower to develop,  tend not to gain weight, and can have other health issues as well.

Watching 702 grow alongside the Sandhill chick is a great illustration of this. The Sandhill is taller, stronger, eats and drinks better, and is generally more active. Little 702 has had to get extra fluids by injection, and has been tube fed to help with weight gain.

We keep a constant vigil on this little one and weigh it several times a day. As with any warm blooded creature, there will be weight fluctuations throughout the day, with a slight weight loss overnight. There are acceptable limits to this, however, and when these limits are exceeded, there is cause for alarm. We are keeping extra watch on this, with extra feedings scheduled.

So far, so good. 702 is definitely a fighter and very independent. When we are in the pen “working” it, it drinks when it wants to, not when we try to get it to drink. It eats well and, when we are not in the pen, will drink on its own, too. Keep fighting, little one, and don’t make all your mommas worry so much!

View the photos here in the 2007 Spring photo journal.

Date: April 24 2007 - Entry 1 Reporter:

Liz Condie

Subject:

Eastern Migratory Population Update

Location:

Main Office

This update was compiled from data provided by the Tracking and Monitoring Team consisting of Tally Love, Stacy Kerley (ICF), and Richard Urbanek (USF&WS). This week thanks for tracking assistance go to Windway Aviation and pilot Mike Frakes, Mary Barnwell (Southwest Florida Water Management District), Jeannette Parker (Florida FWCC), and Glenn Klingler (USDA Forest Service).

In the highlights below, * = female; DAR = direct autumn release; NFT = non functional transmitter.

Estimated size of the Eastern Migratory Population (EMP) is 59 individuals, 34 males and 25 females. Three birds are unaccounted for, 202*, 415* 524.

Florida: 509 – Lake County; 516 - Marion County; 523 – Levy County; 615 remained in Marion County or the vicinity. His radio signal was detected during an aerial survey April 21 but not during a ground search April 23.

Tennessee: DAR627 – Campbell County

New York: 309* - Lewis County

Michigan: 318, 533* – Oceana County

REPRODUCTION
217* and 211:
The First Family parents continued incubating normally until 20 April when both birds left the nest on several occasions for short periods. 217* returned at dusk and incubated during the night but they discontinued incubation the following morning. Just minutes before they were to be collected, the remains of the two eggs were discovered. The predator which destroyed the eggs was not visible on surveillance videotape.

209* and 416: Their Monroe County nest was found abandoned April 21 with one broken (fertile) and one intact egg. The intact egg was sent to ICF for incubation.

218* and 213: Began incubating between Site 2 and Rice Pool April 16. The morning of April 20 the incubating parent left the nest and did not return. The single egg was collected and sent ICF for incubation.

303* and 317: Began incubation on April 19 but abandoned their nest on April 21. The nest was found on an aerial survey, but difficult to access on the ground.

All four of the nest desertions occurred during the same short period of time and appeared associated with a surge of warm weather on 20 and 21 April.

Noteable
508* and 401 were found together April 19 in Wood County on an aerial survey. 401 had not been located since March 23. 508* had apparently been in this area for several weeks.

DAR628 left Indiana April 17 and was detected in flight in south central Wisconsin on the 19th. On the 20th he roosted in Olmsted County, MN but returned to WI the 21st and roosted on the Necedah NWR with 307 and W601 on April 23.

View the photos here in the 2007 Spring photo journal.

Date: April 21 2007 - Entry 1 Reporter:

Liz Condie

Subject:

Wood Buffalo-Aransas Update

Location:

Main Office

On his aerial census of the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge and surrounding areas April 19th, Tom Stehn, flying with Gary Ritchey of Air Logistic Solutions out of San Antonio, Texas, reported only 7 adult Whooping cranes were found.

"All but 7 of the 237 whooping cranes have started the migration from Aransas," said Tom, "an estimated 65 birds having started migration since my last flight on April 10th."

While some have already reached southern Canada, sightings in the migration corridor indicate that there are Whooping cranes spread out across North America.

Tom reported that all the juveniles have departed Aransas, including the 'twin' juveniles that had stayed behind when their parents had migrated. He said that he believes all the cranes remaining at Aransas are sub-adults, or non-breeders. "As these birds won’t pair up and nest in 2007, they do not feel the same urgency to pack their bags and leave the food-rich marshes of Aransas and face the long, hazardous trip north."

Stehn speculated that, "Three of the birds still at Aransas may be the cranes that failed to migrate north in 2006 and spent all summer at Aransas. One of the three suffered a severe injury as a juvenile in April, 2004 when it was presumably either bitten by a poisonous snake or was hit in the head with the talons of a raptor. It did not eat for up to 10 days and spent lots of time sitting down in the marsh, something cranes rarely ever do. This crane got better and Tom says it appears to be fine now, but that somehow it seems to have had the urge to migrate knocked out of it."

"I think this bird is a male," said Tom, and I wonder what will happen when it gets a mate and the mate is in the habit of migrating. Who will the win the discussion about should we stay or should we head north for the summer?"

April 18 the total flock size was revised down by one bird when a dead Whooping crane was found in a farm field in North Dakota. The cause of death was unknown, but it appeared to have a broken neck. The carcass has been shipped to wildlife health experts to see if they can figure out what happened. From photos sent to him, Tom was able to identify the bird as r-Y, a 23 year old male crane hatched in 1983.

Date: April 20, 2007 - Entry 1 Reporter:

Bev

Subject:

Announcing - First chick in the Class of 2007 hatched!!

Location:

PWRC

Well, here I am, back at Patuxent after having been back in Florida to collect my home on wheels as well as my two beloved feline companions. (Oh, yeah, Brooke, too!) After spending two days on the road on the return trip, we arrived to the best possible kind of news.

A Whooper chick had hatched on Wednesday afternoon! The first of the class of 2007 whom I have named 'Hope' (against all protocols, rules of decency and scientific detachment). I know it is clichéd, but I couldn’t help myself. It will really be called 702. (701 was its fellow chick from San Antonio that didn’t make it.)

I thought after the events of February, that I would be an emotional wreck when I saw the first fuzzy brown chick. And I was. But it wasn’t the emotions I thought I would have. Instead of left over grief for the 17, I felt an overwhelming sense of joy. A huge grin was plastered on my face, and yes, my eyes did tear up a bit. Like every new mother, I just know that this is the cutest, the smartest Whooping Crane chick that has ever hatched.

This is the one that will be the true leader of the class of 2007, so skilled will it be following the trike. It will teach its fellow cohort members the right way to follow, the right way to fly formation, the right way to enter the pen (with no encouragement whatsoever, of course!) Okay, I guess its time to come back to reality. It is an awfully cute little fellow/gal though. Right now, as is done with most of the chicks, its toes are taped to ensure they grow straight, so it looks especially cute - in a Forrest Gump-ish sort of way.

Due to the fact that this bird is going to be fully two weeks older than any of its other classmates, we are raising it with a Sandhill Crane chick. Since 702 has no other Whooping crane chicks to socialize with, we had to provide a play mate, if you will. But 702 won’t grow up confused. It still is played the Whooper brood call; we are still dressed in white; and there is still an adult Whooping crane penned right next to it to ensure proper sexual imprinting.

It is the little Sandhill that will grow up confused! But a mighty sacrifice it is making to ensure proper socialization of a very endangered species. Something it can brag to its grandchicks about - his contribution to saving the Whooping Crane! Raising it with a chick its own age is important from a socialization standpoint.

As you all know, chicks are highly competitive and actually try to out compete each other for food and attention. This can involve some pretty nasty behavior, and in the wild can, and quite often does, end up in one chick killing the other. When 702 is finally introduced to the much younger Whoopers, it will already know how to play nice and share. A novel way of socializing, but there is no reason it won’t work. These two chicks, who look similar, but do have differences, will just keep thinking that they are the cutest (and their crane-mama’s favorite) and that their buddy is just a bit goofy looking.

Days are going by quickly with final preparations still being completed and hourly feedings continuing throughout the day. So, break is over, its time to get back to work.

View the photos here in the 2007 Spring photo journal.

Date: April 18, 2007 - Entry 1 Reporter:

Liz Condie

Subject:

Egg News

Location:

Main Office

We just learned that the Calgary Zoo’s Devonian Wildlife Conservation Centre expects to ship up to 5 eggs for the ultralight led program on April 25th. As we reported previously, one of the two eggs already shipped to Patuxent by the San Antonio Zoo still survives, and at last word was looking good.

In other news - the third group of auction items have been posted to eBay. To check out what's on offer this time just click the link. OM's eBay Auction.

Date: April 17, 2007 - Entry 3 Reporter:

Joe Duff

Subject:

WCEP Releases Cause of Death Statement

Location:

Main Office

The Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership is made up of the nine agencies involved in this reintroduction. A representative from each organization sits on the Project Direction Team (PDT), a small group of like-minded people that, more by consensus than authority, attempts to lead the reintroduction.

After the loss of the Class of ‘06 the PDT convened a meeting of all the team leaders to see if there was a way to prevent a reoccurrence of such a loss. So far, we have had three, 4 hour conference calls, and still have a few more ahead of us.

This is going to be a long process as we hope to examine every aspect of our bird care methods, from hatch to release. The results will be made public, but in the interim we do have information that we can share with you.

One of the first things reviewed was the necropsy results. The Laboratory of Wildlife Disease Research at the University of Florida conducted necropsies on two birds and veterinarians from Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Programs facility examined two others.

The findings included drowning from the aspiration of salt water into the lungs; trauma; and presumptive electrical shock from a lightning strike as evidenced by diagnostic tissue damage in the heart, kidneys and other organs.

NOAA reports indicate a lightning strike within yards of the pen site at 3:16 AM, shortly after the high tides peaked. It is presumed that the lightning stunned the birds and they drown as a result.

More data has been gathered and will be included in the final report along with recommendations for changes.

Date: April 17, 2007 - Entry 2 Reporter:

Liz Condie

Subject:

Eastern Migratory Population Update

Location:

Main Office

This update was compiled from data provided by the Tracking and Monitoring Team consisting of Tally Love, Stacy Kerley (ICF), and Richard Urbanek (USF&WS). This week thanks for monitoring assistance go to Mary Barnwell (Southwest Florida WMD); Sam Whiteleather, Rob Sullender, and Jim Bergens (IN DNR); Glenn Klingler (USDA Forest Service); and Kathy Chappell (Florida FWCC).

In the highlights below, * = female; DAR = direct autumn release; NFT = non functional transmitter.

Estimated size of the Eastern Migratory Population (EMP) is 59 individuals, 34 males and 25 females. Two additional birds (524 and 202*) continue to be unaccounted for.

Florida: 509 – Lake County; 516 and 615 – Marion County; 523 – Levy County; 627 – Lafayette County.
New York: 309* - Lewis County, NY
Michigan: 318 – Oceana County, MI
Indiana: DAR628 - Pulaski County, IN

Wisconsin: ‘N’ = Nest

101 Stayed mainly on Necedah NWR. The status of his mate 202* remains unknown.

102*

Adams County

105

Arrived with 519* on April 16 on his territory at Sprague Pool on the refuge.

107*

Last observed in Adams County during an aerial survey on 29 March. NFT.

201*

Remained with 306 on their territory in Juneau County.

202*

Last recorded with her mate 101 on  March 13 as they entered southern GA on the first day of their spring migration.

205

Usually remained on Carter-Woggon Pool.

209* -N

The active nest of 209* and 416 was found in Monroe County April 15. The date incubation began is unknown. This is the same location where the pair was observed nest building March 29.

211 -N

The First Family parents continued incubation which began April 3.

212

With 419* usually in Wood County.

213 -N

With mate 218* has built at least three nests at different locations in their territory at Site 2/Rice Pool during the first 2 weeks of April. One bird was observed sitting on the last nest the evening of April 16 Laying/incubation expected shortly.

216

Remained with 501* and 512 near Sprague Pool. During limited visual observations 216 and 501* were together, and 512 was alone.

217* -N

The First Family parents continued incubation which began April 3.

218* -N

With mate 213 has built at least three nests at different locations in their territory at Site 2/Rice Pool during the first 2 weeks of April. One bird was observed sitting on the last nest the evening of April 16 Laying/incubation expected shortly.

301*

Remained with mate 311 on their territory on NE Sprague Pool.

303*

Remained with mate 317 on their territory on Pool 9 and vicinity.

306

Remained with 201* on their territory in Juneau County.

307

Remained with Wild601* during the week, usually roosting near Site 3.

309*

Lewis County, NY

310

Remained mainly on or near West Rynearson Pool, Necedah NWR, during the week.

311

Remained with mate 301* on their territory on NE Sprague Pool.

312*

Remained with 316 either near Yellow River or mid Sprague Pool.

313*

Along with 408, remained on Goose Pool or western Sprague Pool.

316

Remained with 312* either near Yellow River or mid Sprague Pool.

317

Remained with mate 303* on their territory on Pool 9 and vicinity.

318

Oceana County, MI

401

Arrived on Necedah NWR with no. 520* on March 22and remained there to roost. Has not been located since the pair separated March 23.

402

Observed at Mill Bluff and on S Sprague Pool.

403

With 514 at Mill Bluff April 12/13 April and south of the refuge with 412 and Sandhills April 15.

407

Detected flying over Sprague Pool and found April 15 on E Meadow Valley Flowage.

408

Along with 313*, remained on Goose Pool or western Sprague Pool.

412

Usually roosted on the East DU Unit or Sprague Pool.

415*

NFT. Believed to have been observed in Madison County FL Feb. 19 and no subsequent reports have been received, but she is expected to be back in Wisconsin.

416 -N

The active nest of 209* and 416 was found in Monroe County April 15. The date incubation began is unknown. This is the same location where the pair was observed nest building March 29.

419*

With 212 usually in Wood County.

420*

Detected on 1 day only (18 March) by the datalogger on Necedah NWR. No other reports have been received.

501*

Remained with 216 and 512 near Sprague Pool. During limited visual observations 216 and 501* were together, and 512 was alone.

502*

Observed foraging with 503 and 507* in Dodge County April 7. Detected in flight April 9 near Necedah NWR and later found in Wood County. April 13, 502 separated and moved to Columbia County.

503

Observed foraging with 502* and 507* in Dodge County April 7. Detected in flight April 9 near Necedah NWR and later found in Wood County. By April 13, 503 and 507 had separated and moved on.

505

With 506 in Dane County until returning to the refuge April 14 where they had a territorial encounter with 510* and 511. They then moved to Sprague Pool and separated.

506

With 505 in Dane County until returning to the refuge April 14 where they had a territorial encounter with 510* and 511. They then moved to Sprague Pool and separated.

507*

Observed foraging with 502* and 503 in Dodge County April 7. Detected in flight April 9 near Necedah NWR and later found in Wood County. By April 13, 503 and 507* had separated and moved on.

508*

In or near Wood County.

509

Lake County, FL

510*

Remained with 511 at Site 3 or nearby locations.

511

Remained with 510* at Site 3 or nearby locations.

512

Remained with 501* and 216 near Sprague Pool. During limited visual observations 216 and 501* were together, and 512 was alone. 514 joined 512 on 8 April but left the next day.

514

Joined 512 on Sprague Pool April 8 but departed the next day.

516

Marion County, FL

519*

Arrived with 105 on April 16 on his territory at Sprague Pool on the refuge.

520*

Jackson County

523

Levy County, FL

524

Last observed 16 February with his associate, 523 in Levy County, FL.

DAR527*

Found with Sandhills in Columbia County during an aerial survey 29 March. No subsequent positive identifications have been received.

DAR528*

Marathon County.

DAR532

Usually remained on the southwest Necedah NWR boundary.

DAR533*

Oceana County

Wild601*

Remained with 307 during the week, usually roosting near Site 3.

615

Marion County, FL

DAR626

Separated from DAR628 April 1 at a stopover in Daviess County. Last observed alive at the same site April 12. Found dead on the morning of April 13. He apparently died from a neck wound inflicted by a predator.

DAR627

Lafayette County, FL

DAR628

Separated from DAR626 April 1 at a stopover in Daviess County, IN then moved to Pulaski County, IN and remains there.

View the photos here in the 2007 Spring photo journal.

Date: April 17, 2007 - Entry 1 Reporter:

Liz Condie

Subject:

DAR mortality

Location:

Main Office

Dr. Richard Urbanek reported this morning that DAR626 had been found dead in Daviess County, Indiana, on April 13th. He had arrived at this migration stop on March 27 with DAR628 who left the area on April 1st. DAR626 was last observed alive on the afternoon of April 12th. The remains, which showed an obvious neck wound, were recovered by Sam Whiteleather of Indiana DNR and forwarded to the National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, WI for necropsy.

Date: April 14, 2007 - Entry 2 Reporter:

Bev Paulan

Subject:

Bev's Egg Report #2

Location:

Patuxent WRC

When everything seems to be going well, I remind myself to look behind, or a little closer or even step back to get a broader picture to see what else there is I might be missing. As I stated yesterday, with it being Friday the 13th, I was braced for a bad day. It seemed to be anything but, what with the eggs coming, and the little guy inside peeping away.

But when I got into work this morning, Brian Clauss was definitely not his usual chipper self. He told me that the chick was no longer peeping or moving. I asked what happened and he said he wasn't sure, but that Dr. Glenn Olsen was on his way in to have a look at the egg.

As soon as Dr. Olsen looked at it, he said the chick was most probably dead and he preceded to open the egg. (If the chick wasn't dead, it was close enough to hatching that an early break-out would not do any harm.) The chick was indeed dead, and exhibited signs of hemorrhage. A necropsy was scheduled for this afternoon to try and determine the cause of death.

When I asked Glen if he could speculate as to the cause, he rattled off a laundry list of possibilities. But in my mind, I knew it really didn't matter. Unfortunately, these things do happen. We do the best that we can do, taking every precaution in handling, transporting, incubating. Sometimes, nature does know best and a chick that would have no chance of a healthy survival dies shortly before hatching.

Life isn't always fair and it isn't always happy. So the joy of yesterday is transmuted into the pain of today, bringing up feelings left over from February 2nd. But we work on, continuing to prep the propagation building, mowing the circle pen, checking for more eggs.

If we let one set back keep us down, what would the point of the project be? We are all in this to keep going, to keep the species going, and to keep looking ahead to a future filled with large white birds calling across the marsh.

Date: April 14, 2007 - Entry 1 Reporter:

Joe Duff

Subject:

Bev's Egg Report

Location:

Main Office

Operation Migration functions from a 600 square foot basement office. It's kind of 'L'shaped, and piled high with boxes of supplies, files, and sweatshirts. For a small organization primarily focused on saving one species, it's unbelievably busy and often reminds me of the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

The list of duties seems endless and includes photo and video requests, grant applications, year end accountings, reports to our board, and crew schedules. We have web updates, media articles, WCEP reports, and emails enough to max out the hard drive in a laptop in about a year and a half. We have a backup system for our backup system, and more notes-to-self than will fit in a standard day-timer.

Somewhere in all this activity is the next edition to our magazine INformation. Liz pulls together all the pieces and sends them off to graphic designer Nan Rudd, who works miracles with her Mac. She sends back designs that she thinks are acceptable and we think are inspired. The hard work and talent that Liz and Nan routinely dedicate to INformation makes us look good.

The normal workload in our small office has dramatically increased with the loss of the Class of '06 and the result is that we are running behind. Way behind. We know we promised to have INformation in your hands by the beginning of April, but please bear with us. It should be in the mail by early May. Based on the talent of Liz and Nan, I think you will find it worth the wait.

Date: April 13, 2007 - Entry 1 Reporter:

Bev Paulan

Subject:

Bev's Egg Report

Location:

Patuxent WRC

Friday the 13th. An ominous sounding date. One that conjures up images of shattered mirrors, leaning ladders and black cats. In fact, I dreamt of a black cat last night, but that could be because my cats are still down in Florida.

This Friday the 13th was anything but ominous. Instead it was downright auspicious if you ask me. You see, today we got two eggs from the San Antonio Zoo. Approximately 10 days we were told ago to expect these eggs, and that the hatch dates were April 16th and 19th. You read that right, April 16th and 19th, not May.

When Patuxent’s Brian Clauss picked up the eggs at the Baltimore airport he thought he heard something. Well, sure enough, after opening the portable incubator he indeed did hear something. A little "peep" from one of the eggs! Right on their predicted schedule this future migrator should be hatching out this Sunday or Monday at the latest.

The other egg was not peeping, so while Brian dipped the egg in its betadine bath (to draw bacteria out of the egg), he purred at the egg and it started to move, almost spinning in the warm solution so happy was this future chick!

So, we'll enjoy the last couple of days of no costumes and talking because soon its silence, swathed and slow!

View the photos here in the 2007 Spring photo journal.

Date: April 12, 2007 - Entry 2 Reporter:

Liz Condie

Subject:

Auction Update

Location:

Main Office

All but three of the second grouping of items on OM's eBay auction now have bids. We're busy getting listings for the third group of donated items ready. They will go on to eBay when the current auction closes. To bid or just check out the action click OM's eBay Auction.

Date: April 12, 2007 - Entry 1 Reporter:

Bev Paulan

Subject:

Wood Buffalo – Aransas Update

Location:

PWRC, Maryland

I'm now back at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Centre (PWRC), and my real work for the hatch season has started.

To say that I'm working my ‘pin feathers’ off is an understatement. I have a new appreciation of how hard the Patuxent crew works. They are an under appreciated, overworked, behind the scenes group and my hats go off to them.

So far I have set up flight netting for the adult imprint models' outside pens; cleaned and disinfected mats, rugs and floors; mowed the chicks' runs and the perimeter; power washed and assembled shelving; washed buckets to the point I feel I'm in the Navy on KP; and assembled pen doors. And all of this in just 2 and a half days.

I haven't stopped, but knowing why I'm doing this, it feels good to be working hard. Four times each day the PWRC staff goes out and does an 'egg check', and I anxiously ask, "Did you find one?" So far, three times they have! Of those three, two are genetic holdbacks, meaning their DNA is genetically valuable to help increase diversity in the captive breeding program. (Usually the first eggs from a pair that has not previously reproduced together.)

But one of the eggs is for us. Every egg for the ultralight program brings new hope; a step closer to reaching our goal and a step toward recovering from 2006's loss. I smile each time an egg comes in, say a little prayer to whatever god watches over the Whooping Crane, and ask for a healthy, smart chick; one who likes to follow the trike, and, is nice to his buddies!

It's back to work time, more water buckets need scrubbing and there's always power-washing to do.

Date: April 11, 2007 - Entry 4 Reporter:

Liz Condie

Subject:

Wood Buffalo – Aransas Update

Location:

Main Office

April 10th, Tom Stehn, USF&WS Whooping crane coordinator, and pilot Gary Ritchey conducted their regular aerial crane survey at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. Flying a Cessna 210, they had perfectly clear weather to count the 72 birds present on the refuge and surrounding area.

"
April 6 seemed to be the day when a noticeable number of cranes departed Aransas," said Tom, "although some had departed before that. Sightings in the migration corridor indicate the Whooping cranes are currently spread out across the U.S. as far north as North Dakota."

With no mortality documented during the 2006-2007 winter season, the Wood Buffalo-Aransas flock remains at an estimated 237 birds.

Based on the locations and groupings observed, Tom estimated that out of the approximately 66 adult pairs that were present during the winter, only 11 of the pairs are left on their wintering grounds. Four of the seven wintering ‘twin families’ have also started migrating.

The parents of the E. Spalding Cove twin chicks started their migration leaving their youngsters behind. "This happens occasionally at Aransas," said Tom. “The juveniles will be fine," he said, "and are able to migrate back to Wood Buffalo National Park in Canada on their own."

Tides were very high during the recent survey with all tidal flats flooded. No cranes were seen on uplands, prescribed burns, open bays or at sources of freshwater. Recent rains have dramatically lowered bay salinities so the marshes are relatively fresh. Tom’s next census flight is scheduled for April 19th.

Date: April 11, 2007 - Entry 3 Reporter:

Liz Condie

Subject:

Florida Non Migratory Population News

Location:

Main Office

We reported on April 1st that a pair of birds from the Florida non-migratory flock were nesting and a video camera had been set up to monitor them. Marty Folk from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said he was optimistic but worried about the low water levels caused by the Florida draught.

Marty advised yesterday that their one nest had been abandoned on April 4th, and that no eggs or shells were recovered from the platform. "As water levels continued to drop, cattle traffic near the nest became heavy at times," he said. "Video from the nest cam showed that they were incubating until dark on the 3rd but were gone by morning."

Marty noted, "We have documented this before (nest abandoned in the dark) with video surveillance."

The .75 inch of rain which fell earlier in the week was the first significant rain (>0.5") that central Florida has seen since Christmas Day!

Date: April 11, 2007 - Entry 2 Reporter:

Liz Condie

Subject:

Auction a Hit

Location:

Main Office

Congratulations auction winners and thank you to all bidders.

OM's first ever eBay auction started off with a bang and we thank those of you who participated. What fun! Our first selection of items have been sold (or the bidding time has expired), and the second grouping is now posted. To take a look at what's new on offer click OM's eBay Auction.

If you were hoping to win one of the pieces of art from the first run, keep watching as we will eventually re-list anything unsold. New pieces include books and crafts.

We'd also like to acknowledge and thank our first eBay GivingWorks donor. "Holy Clothing!" is contributing 15% of the sale proceeds from a number of their auction items.

Date: April 11, 2007 - Entry 1 Reporter:

Liz Condie

Subject:

Nesting News

Location:

Main Office

213 and 218 are now nest building at a different location than last week. They were spotted nest building south of the pen at Site 2 pen yesterday. Richard Urbanek said no other nesting activity had been observed.

For the past 24 hours Necedah has been on the receiving end of the snow storm that hit the state. It is perhaps not the best nest building weather. Richard advised the snowfall is predicted to continue into today.

Date: April 10, 2007 - Entry 2 Reporter:

Liz Condie

Subject:

615

Location:

Main Office

Along with today's tracking information sent to us by Richard Urbanek came this photo. Taken April 3rd, it is of 615 foraging where he has been 'hanging out' of late in Marion County. C'mon home little fella!

Date: April 10, 2007 - Entry 1 Reporter:

Liz Condie

Subject:

Eastern Migratory Population Update

Location:

Main Office

This update was compiled from information provided by the Tracking and Monitoring Team consisting of Tally Love, Stacy Kerley (ICF), and Richard Urbanek (USF&WS). Note: Just putting together April 9th's entry on Nesting Hopes and assembling and preparing today’s tracking report in the new format (in response to readers’ requests) instilled a whole new respect for the task the Tracking Team has compiling the data they collect each week. Hats off to you folks!

In the highlights below, * = female; DAR = direct autumn release; NFT = non functional transmitter. This week, thanks go to Rob Sullender (Indiana DNR) and Rich King (FWS) for tracking or monitoring assistance, and to Sara Zimorski (ICF) and Richard Van Heuvelen (OM) for capture assistance.

Estimated size of the Eastern Migratory Population (EMP) is 60 individuals, 35 males and 25 females. Two additional birds (524 and 202*) continue to be unaccounted for. Only 5 birds remained on wintering areas in Florida and at least 47 had arrived in Wisconsin by the end of the week.

Still in Florida: 509, 516, 615, 523, and DAR627.

Still On Spring Migration: 105 and 519*, 309*, 318, DAR533*, DAR626 and DAR628.

In Wisconsin: (unless otherwise stated)

101

Remained mainly at Site 4 and south Upper Rice Pool, Necedah NWR during the week. The status of his mate 202* remains unknown.

102*

Adams County

105

Was not reported during the week. He was last recorded with 519* March 29 on the second day of their migration when they left Levy County, FL and proceeded into Georgia.

107*

Last observed in Adams County during an aerial survey on 29 March. NFT.

201*

Remained with 306 on their territory in Juneau County.

202*

Last recorded with her mate 101 on 13 March as the pair entered southern GA on the first day of their spring migration.

205

Usually remained on Carter-Woggon Pool or adjacent areas.

209*

Remained in Monroe County during the week. Her mate, 416 (NFT) had also been confirmed present at this location during an aerial survey 29 March when they were observed nest building. 8 April they were observed walking in a nearby sedge marsh.

211

The First Family parents (211 and 217*) remained on their territory on eastern East Rynearson Pool (ERP) on the refuge during the week. The male was observed nest building 1 April near the site of their successful re-nest last year. The pair began incubation on 3 April and continued during the week.

212

Along with 419* was frequently in Wood County during the week. The datalogger (automatic monitoring system) at the refuge indicated that they completed migration on 17 March.

213

Remained with mate 218* on their territory at Site 2/Rice Pool during the week. They were observed nest building on 3 April just east of last year's nest location.

216

Remained on mid or NW Sprague Pool during the week. 501* and 514 were at the same location until 514 left 2 April. 512 apparently joined 216 and 501* 3 April, and the group stayed together for the remainder of the week.

217*

The First Family parents (211 and 217*) remained on their territory on eastern East Rynearson Pool (ERP) on the refuge during the week. 211 was observed nest building 1 April near the site of their successful re-nest last year. The pair began incubation on 3 April and continued during the week.

218*

Remained with mate 213 on their territory at Site 2/Rice Pool during the week. They were observed nest building on 3 April just east of last year's nest location.

301*

Remained with mate 311 on their territory on NE Sprague Pool Necedah NWR during the week.

303*

Remained with mate 317 on their territory on Pool 9 and vicinity during the week. They completed migration on 15 March.

306

Remained with 201* on their territory in Juneau County.

307

Remained on or near Site 3 Necedah NWR, during the week. By 5 April he and Wild601* remained together and were no longer associating with several other Whooping cranes also at Site 3.

309*

Left an overnight location in Saginaw County, MI on 1 April and moved Sanilac County. By 3 April she was in Lewis County, NY where she migrated to in 2005 and 2006. (See FJ entry for xxxx)

310

Remained mainly on or near West Rynearson Pool, Necedah NWR, during the week.

311

Remained with mate 301* on their territory on NE Sprague Pool Necedah NWR during the week.

312*

Occasionally returning to mid Sprague Pool, she and 316 usually remained in Juneau County during the week.

313*

Along with 408, remained on Goose Pool or western Sprague Pool during the week.

316

Occasionally returning to mid Sprague Pool, he and 312* usually remained in Juneau County during the week.

317

Remained with mate 303* on their territory on Pool 9 and vicinity during the week. They completed migration on 15 March.

318

Has not been positively identified at any location since beginning migration from Georgetown County, SC on 19 or 20 March. He may have been the bird sighted in Kalamazoo County, MI March 21.

401

Arrived on Necedah NWR with no. 520* on 22 March and remained there to roost. The pair then separated and 401 has not been located since 23 March.

402

Moved frequently and was recorded east of the refuge, at Site 3, West Rynearson Pool, SE Sprague Pool and other locations during the week He was either alone or with Sandhills.

403

Was most frequently recorded with 514 southwest of the refuge.

407

Found on a previous use area NW of Pool 19, Necedah NWR on 29 March. He had separated from 309* during migration. Next recorded 9 April approaching the refuge from the north and he moved to several locations on the refuge on that day.

408

Along with 313*, remained on Goose Pool or western Sprague Pool during the week.

412

At Site 3 at the beginning of the week often associating with Wild601*. On 4 April he moved to a marsh area and remained alone there until moving to the East DU Unit to roost on 7 April. His NFT was replaced 1 April at Site 3.

415*

A whooping crane believed to be 415* was last observed with a small number of Sandhills in Madison County, FL on 19 February. NFT

416

Remained in Monroe County during the week. His mate, 209* had also been confirmed present at this location during an aerial survey 29 March when they were observed nest building. 8 April they were observed walking in a nearby sedge marsh.

419*

Along with 212 was frequently in Wood County during the week. The datalogger (automatic monitoring system) at the refuge indicated that they completed migration on 17 March.

420*

Remained with large numbers of Sandhills in Jackson County, IN at least through 6 March. A signal on her frequency was detected on 1 day only (18 March) at Necedah NWR by the datalogger (automatic monitoring system). No other reports have been received.

501*

Remained on mid or NW Sprague Pool during the week. 216 and 514 were at the same location until 514 left 2 April. 512 apparently joined 216 and 501* 3 April, and the group stayed together for the remainder of the week.

502*

Remained in Jackson County, IN with 503 and 507* until at least 28 March. A low precision PTT reading April 1 indicated they were in Van Buren County, MI. By 5 April they had arrived in Dodge County, WI and on 7 April the 3 birds were observed foraging there. The signals 520* and 507* were detected near Necedah NWR on 9 April.

503

Remained in Jackson County, IN with 502* and 507* until at least 28 March. A low precision PTT reading April 1 indicated they were in Van Buren County, MI.  By 5 April they had arrived in Dodge County, WI and on 7 April the 3 birds were observed foraging there.

505

Arrived Necedah NWR with 506 on 2 April. They had last been reported in Cumberland County, TN 24 March. Later in the day they moved and had left the refuge by 4 April. They  have not been located since.

506

Arrived Necedah NWR with 505 on 2 April. They had last been reported in Cumberland County, TN 24 March. Later in the day they moved and had left the refuge by 4 April. They  have not been located since.

507*

Remained in Jackson County, IN with 502* and 503 until at least 28 March. A low precision PTT reading April 1 indicated they were in Van Buren County, MI. By 5 April they had arrived in Dodge County, WI and on 7 April the 3 birds were observed foraging there. The signals 520* and 507* were detected near Necedah NWR on 9 April.

508*

Returned to the refuge area on 25 March. PTT readings indicated she roosted in or near Wood County 29 March.

509

 Lake County, FL

510*

Arrived at Necedah’s Site 3 April 1 with 511, and 512. They had last been reported leaving Houston County, GA on March 28. 510* and 511 stayed at Site 3 for the rest of the week.

511

Arrived at Necedah’s Site 3 April 1 with 510* and 512. They had last been reported leaving Houston County, GA on March 28. 511 and 510* stayed at Site 3 for the rest of the week.

512

Arrived at Necedah’s Site 3 April 1 with 510* and 511. They had last been reported leaving Houston County, GA 28 March. 510* and 511 remained at Site 3 while 512 moved to Sprague Pool on 3 April and joined 216 and 501*. That group stayed together for the remainder of the week.

514

Remained with 216 and 501* at Sprague Pool until 2 April, then moved to the Lemonweir River and joined no.403 and they stayed in that area for the remainder of the week.

516

Marion County, FL 

519*

Were not reported during the week. She was last recorded with 105 March 29 on the second day of their migration when they left Levy County, FL and proceeded into Georgia

520*

Roosted on Necedah NWR 22 March with 401 but the pair separated shortly thereafter. 520* then moved to Monroe County and remained in that area through the week.

523

Levy County, FL

524

Last observed 16 February with his associate, 523 in Levy County, FL.

DAR527*

Found with Sandhills in Columbia County during an aerial survey 29 March. No subsequent positive identifications have been received.

DAR528*

Remained in Marathon County during the week.

DAR532

Found on the southwest Necedah NWR boundary 5 April where he stayed for the remainder of the week. He completed migration to the refuge 23 March.

DAR533*

Cheboygan County, MI.

Wild601*

Remained at mostly at Site 3 during the week. Early in the week she associated with 412 and 307, but by April 5 was associating exclusively with 307.

615

Marion County, FL

DAR626

Separated from DAR628 April 1 at a stopover in Daviess County, IN and remained there for the rest of the week.

DAR627

Lafayette County, FL

DAR628

Separated from DAR626 April 1 at a stopover in Daviess County, IN then moved to Pulaski County, IN and remained there for the balance of the week.

Remarks

A Whooping crane was reported in Green Lake County on 5 April was not found during a subsequent search on 7 April.

   

Date: April 9, 2007 - Entry 1 Reporter:

Liz Condie

Subject:

Nesting Hopes

Location:

Main Office

Seeing it is breeding season, we thought it timely to provide some information on past and current pairings.

Pairs Activity Summary
(* = female, red = mortality)

102* and 216

Sibling pair. 216 was once paired with 303* who separated when 216 injured his leg. 216 and 102* separated on arrival at Necedah after spring migration.

201* and 306

No nesting documented. They are a sibling pair.

202* and 101

Incubated in 2006 but clutch was lost. 101 returned to Necedah alone; 2-02 disappeared during migration and her status is unknown.

203* and 317

Incubated in 2006 but clutch of 2 eggs was lost.

204* and 105

No nesting documented. 204 mortality 2006. 105 is now paired with 519*.

209* and 302

Incubated in 2006 but clutch was lost. They were a sibling pair.

209* and 416

209* paired with 416 after death of mate 302.

217* and 211

Incubated in 2006; first clutch lost, re-nest was successful, 2 chicks fledged, 1 predated.

218* and 213

Incubated in 2006 but abandoned nest. Two unattended eggs were transferred to Patuxent. Two chicks hatched; 602 survived and migrated with ultralights.

301* and 311

Paired for a year but no breeding activity confirmed.

303* and 216

No nesting. Male injured leg during ’05 spring migration and pair dissolved.

303* and 317

Sibling pair. 303 paired with 408 after her pair bond with 216 dissolved.

317 disrupted pair bond of 303 and 408 after death of its mate 203* and paired with 303.

309* and 407

It remains to be seen if these two (sibling pair) will re-pair once 309* is again retrieved from New York and returned to Wisconsin.

312* and 316

Paired for a year but no breeding activity confirmed.

313* and 208

208 mortality December 2006; 313 currently unpaired.

419* and 212

501* and 408

After losing 303 to 317, 408 paired with 501* in Florida.

508* and 407

This sub-adult pairing dissolved on autumn migration.

520* and 401

Pair separated on arrival at Necedah.

Existing pairs (as of April 8/07)

201* and 306

Sibling pair.

209* and 416

217* and 211

Incubating as of April 3.

218* and 213

301* and 311

303* and 317

Sibling pair.

312* and 316

419* and 212

501* and 408

519* and 105

Still on spring migration.

Richard Urbanek said, "Pairs with females who are at least 4 years old are most likely to nest, but the one pair with a 3 year old female (419*) could possibly also nest." This means the maximum breeding pairs that could be expected to nest this spring is 9.

Note: The research to compile this summary was daunting. Many, many thanks to Dr. Richard Urbanek for his help.

Date: April 8, 2007 - Entry 4 Reporter:

Liz Condie

Subject:

2006 Highlights

Location:

Main Office

The new season is just days away from being kicked off with the hatch of the first chicks for the Class of the Class of 2007.

But before we moved on, Mark Chenoweth, thought he would treat everyone to a walk down memory lane with an audio compilation of highlights from his 2006 Whooper Happenings podcasts.

Thanks for ALL your efforts Mark. To hear Mark's audio piece click 2006 Podcast Highlights.

Date: April 8, 2007 - Entry 3 Reporter:

Liz Condie

Subject:

Happy Easter! Egg Delivery at Necedah

Location:

Main Office

The 'Whooper Bunny' made a delivery just a little early and dropped it off at the home of the First Family.

On Thursday, 217* was spotted turning an egg in the pair's nest on their usual territory near East Rynearson Pool. Richard Urbanek said 211 and 217* had begun incubating on Tuesday, April 3rd.

In 2006 211 and 217* began incubating their first clutch on April 10th but subsequently they were seen foraging together away from the nest site and their clutch was destroyed. That their second attempt was successful indicates they must have learned something.

While no incubating is yet taking place, at least two other pairs have been busy nest building.

Three of the nest builders have some experience. 213 and 218* began incubation around April 6th last year. Prior to wandering off for a prolonged period leading to their two eggs being collected to avoid predation, they had diligently attended the nest. Their two eggs, which were hatched at Patuxent, ultimately produced chicks 602 and 603, both designated for inclusion in the '06 ultralight-led program. Unfortunately severe health issues led to 603 being euthanized but 602 successfully completed the fall migration.

The third experienced nest builder is 209*. She and 302, her mate of last year, lost their clutch in late April, about 13 or 14 days into the incubation period. Male 302 was predated last spring, an occurrence which, according to Richard Urbanek, was likely abetted by water level/drought conditions. 209* subsequently paired with 416 and hopefully can instill good parenting skills in her 'new man'.

Date: April 8, 2007 - Entry 2 Reporter:

Liz Condie

Subject:

Report Your Sightings

Location:

Main Office

Although almost all of the Whooping cranes in the Eastern Migratory Population have completed their migration, we would still appreciate your help to locate and track the birds, and throughout the spring – and in fact, year round.

You can report actual or suspected sightings to Operation Migration at
info@operationmigration.org

Along the western flyway of the Wood Buffalo/Aransas population, please report sightings in the USA to martha_tacha@fws.gov and sightings in Canada to brian.johns@ec.gc.ca.

If possible, please include in your report:
-     The precise date and time of the sighting;
-     How many birds were spotted and what they were doing, ie, flying overhead, foraging.
-     Whether you saw the bird(s) yourself, and if not, any contact information you might have for the individual that did;
-     If leg bands were visible, advise the band colors (usually 2 or three) in order from top to bottom;
-     Anything else of interest, including photos.

Please remember to keep 500 to 600 feet distant – about the length of two football fields away.

Date: April 8, 2007 - Entry 1 Reporter:

Liz Condie

Subject:

Announcing additions to the OM Team

Location:

Main Office

For the past number of weeks, our Supervisor of Field Operations, Bev Paulan, has been interviewing applicants for three intern positions for the 2007 season.

Bev's efforts and diligence have paid off. As of yesterday, all three positions have been filled. Our new interns are Carl Wagle from Greensboro, NC; Megan Kennedy from Madison, WI; and, Jo Ann Lincoln from Olympia, WA. Welcome aboard folks!

Start dates for our newest crew members are staggered over the next few weeks, but all will join Bev and Brooke at Patuxent Wildlife Research Center (PWRC) by early May. Some personnel at PWRC have moved on since last season, and the addition of seasoned veteran Brooke Pennypacker, and one OM intern more than usual to the chick rearing and conditioning team, will help offset the manpower shortage.

So you can get to know our three new interns, their bios and photos will be posted as they join us. We have been fortunate in the past to find terrific people to fill our intern positions. And, if Carl’s, Megan’s, and Jo Ann’s resumes and eagerness are any indication, it appears this season will be no different.

Date: April 7, 2007 - Entry 1 Reporter:

Liz Condie

Subject:

Whooper Ringtone

Location:

Main Office

Operation Migration provided the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) with a Whooping crane unison call to add their collection of free, endangered wildlife ringtones.

The Center for Biological Diversity's co-founder, Peter Galvin, came up with the idea for the free ringtones of endangered and rare species as a way to educate people. CBD's Michael Robinson who facilitated OM’s contribution of the Whooping crane unison call said, "While the ringtones might be amusing to hear, they are also serious business. They are a way to get people thinking about the wild world."

In a few easy steps you can personalize your cell phone with a truly distinctive ring. If you would like to download one for your cell phone, visit Rare Earth Tones.

Even if you aren’t interested in acquiring a ring tone, a visit to the site to just hear all the hoots, howls, chirps, and croaks is worthwhile.

If you would like an endangered wildlife ring tone for your cell phone there are lots to choose from. But wait until you hear the Whooping crane ring tone! We're betting that people with the Whooper call on their phones are going to find it a real conversation starter - or stopper. (grin)

Note: Combining science, advocacy and environmental law, the non-profit Center for Biological Diversity "works to secure a future for animals and plants hovering on the brink of extinction, for the wilderness they need to survive, and by extension, for the spiritual welfare of generations to come."

Our thanks go to supporter Marnie Gaede for giving us the push we needed to get this project accomplished.

Date: April 6, 2007 - Entry 6 Reporter:

Liz Condie

Subject:

Can you believe the 2007 season is here already?!?!

Location:

Main Office

Jane Chandler, of the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center reported on the Flock Managers’ first ‘Egg teleconference call’ of the season.

"There is good news," said Jane, "our Whoopers have started laying.

The San Antonio Zoo (one of five breeding centers from which WCEP receives eggs) has two fertile eggs, one due to hatch April 16, and the other April 19. Both are expected to arrive at Patuxent on the 13th. These eggs have been designated for our ultralight program. The next eggs, whose fertility is as yet unknown, aren't due to hatch until the April 28 (1 egg) and April 30 (2 eggs).

The chronology of this scenario means that two birds will be quite a bit older than those that would normally be included in Cohort One. Over the past six years of the project, age differences between Cohorts have proven not to be an issue. A difference of as much as 14 days between chicks which would normally form part of the same cohort however is a new twist.

Commenting on this, Joe Duff said, "Other than working out conditioning and imprinting/training logistics, the age difference shouldn't present a major problem. If necessary, it could be resolved as simply as making the two older birds the sum total of Cohort One," he added.

Much can happen between now and hatch, but in any event, we are prepared for the possibility of some challenges relating to age spread.

With just days left before the first hatch is anticipated, the crew at Patuxent are feverishly working to ensure the propagation building, equipment and supplies are ready in time for the arrival of the chicks.

OM's Supervisor of Field Operations, Bev Paulan will arrive in Laurel, MD from Florida the beginning of next week. To offset a staff shortage at Patuxent, we've asked Brooke Pennypacker to also work on chick rearing and early conditioning this year. He too will start at Patuxent next week. The first of OM’s three interns for 2007 will join them April 16.

OM requested 20 to 24 chicks for its 2007 ultralight-led program. Here's hoping for lots of fertile eggs and lots of healthy chicks.

Date: April 6, 2007 - Entry 5 Reporter:

Liz Condie

Subject:

Gypsy bird 309

Location:

Main Office

We heard this morning that 309* has once again appeared in the Empire State. Somewhere along the migration back north, she split from 407, (suspected to having happened somewhere in Indiana) the male she had paired with while wintering in Pasco County, Florida.

While her erstwhile mate carried on to Necedah, 309* traveled through Michigan and then into south western Ontario, Canada where she was sighted in the Point Pelee area, before reaching New York state some time on April 3rd.

309* is our gypsy bird. On her first return migration in the spring of 2004, she and eight of her flock mates were flushed from their roost by people trying to see them, and they took off into the darkness. That disturbance, compounded by a strong wind from the west, pushed them to the east side of Lake Michigan - and her wanderings began.

She spent her first summer in the wild in Michigan. In her various past travels she has also been in Ohio, New York, Vermont , North and South Carolina, and Ontario, Canada. In the fall of 2005 she was collected from North Carolina and relocated to Florida, eventually becoming buddies with 520* at the Chassahowitzka pen where she spent much of the 05/06 winter season.

Last spring migration she and 520* traveled north together with 309* obviously leading the way.
In April the two birds left from Huron County, Michigan and moved into Ontario, Canada. On the 14th they were within 10 miles of OM's Port Perry office! The following day they went east re-entering the U.S. to roost in Jefferson County, New York in a spot just 25 miles from two summer locations 309* had frequented in 2005. Both birds subsequently moved to Lewis County, NY and then to Addison County, Vermont to 309*’s 2005 spring territory.

In early May 309* and 520* were retrieved from Lewis County, NY and transported to Necedah NWR and released.
Until her capture and relocation to Necedah, 309* had never returned to Wisconsin since the day she left behind OM's ultralights back in 2003.

It is the intent of the Tracking and Monitoring team to travel to New York state to capture 309* and again relocate her to Necedah, WI. The complexity of necessary arrangements are underway.

Commenting, Joe Duff, OM's senior ultralight pilot, said, "When 309 first strayed into Michigan I was in favour of leaving her there, primarily to avoid the dangers of capture and relocation, but also to see what would happen."

"Now it appears that we have learned something. It would seem that what is learned on their first migration becomes permanently imprinted, even to the point of separating from a mate. At least," he added, "that is the way it appears for this bird."

Joe noted that this same phenomenon has been shown to be true in geese and swans. “The fact that 309 takes such a
circuitous route, despite a direct line being much shorter, says something about their special awareness,” he said.

Date: April 6, 2007 - Entry 4 Reporter:

Liz Condie

Subject:

A Story Worth Sharing

Location:

Main Office

Barbara Waaland, a California Craniac and OM supporter extraordinaire, sent an email to tell us about her 'spring break'. Her story is too good not to share.

Hi Liz,
I promised to write and tell you about my 'spring break' but I don't quite know where to start. I could start with the police encounter (gun drawn), or the not inconsequential return on my travel investment, or sex. I guess I'll start with the 'shoot-out at the OK Corral'.

I left the San Francisco Bay area where we have crime you wouldn't believe, and headed for peaceful little Necedah, WI. One evening I was headed for the observation tower at the refuge, but I was hungry, so I decided to stop and pick up a sandwich. I was getting back in my car when I looked up to the top of a rise in the road and saw two pick-up trucks, and a policeman, gun drawn, pointing and waving his weapon at the ground.

All of a sudden up popped this guy. He took off, with the policeman, gun in hand, giving chase. Was he going to shoot him? They both ran; the guy went down; but no shot was heard. By now everyone has poured out the doors of local businesses. As we milled around, some men pulled up in a truck and informed everyone that the policeman managed to get out his Tazer and let the fellow have it. He was subdued and apparently taken off to the pokey.

Turns out the fellow was following and yelling at the Asplundh crew (a major tree trimming company in the area). I drove away (more important business was waiting for me at the observation tower) so I don’t know for certain what all the fuss was about. As I left, I got a little laugh from the small crowd that had gathered, when I said, perhaps Asplundh had cut down his favorite tree.

And was it a good thing that I left when I did. I arrived at the observation tower just as Wild601* decided to put in an appearance. (I'll get back to this). I had been out in the morning and had seen at least 6 different cranes, including a couple by the roadside observation area just inside the refuge entrance.

I was fairly sure that 211 and 217 (W601's parents) were on the far side of East Rynearson. I saw cranes by Site 1, and then I watched 211 and 217 fly down to the end of Rynearson The male, 211 is sooo big, and I watched while they foraged and preened.

Eventually I left and went over to Goose Pool. There I saw two more cranes, obviously a pair. They ate, they preened, and along with the cranes, I watched a harrier hawk eat its lunch too. It was great. I left the refuge after the morning's 'show'. It was on my way back for an evening visit that I saw the above police action.

On my evening visit I went back to the observation tower. I saw the First Family parents again, feeding. I was scanning the landscape with my binoculars when I caught sight of a bird flying toward me. It landed on one of the large mounds just beyond the marsh in front of the tower. It was obviously an older white bird.

Then, out of the corner of my eye, I caught another bird flying onto the same mound. It landed, and using my binoculars got a great close-up view. It is interesting how well the cinnamon coloring matches the dead grasses. As the first bird stood in the grass I thought it was W601* but when it moved I could see that it had just been the grass against the white feathers.

Not so with the second bird. As that bird moved so did the color on its right wing. Then she turned around and I saw the full back of the head - a very nice and obvious cinnamon. Then W601* moved up out of the water and turned to look straight on at the tower. Wow!

Her bands were then visible and obvious. I watched her feed with the older bird until the refuge closed at sunset - about 7:20 that night. W601* had still not gone to roost. Needless to say I was thrilled to see her. I did not see her again, but did consistently see two birds just south of Site 1. Like jack-in-the-boxes, they would pop up and down, up and down out of the long grass.

Now to sex: The reason I went to Necedah was to see mating and I wasn't disappointed. But it didn't happen until my last day there. Thankfully I had planned a late flight home so I could have one more morning's viewing opportunity. All the books I've read said that just before sunrise is the best time, so I had lots of early mornings.

My last morning I arrived about 6:20am and we waited (we being myself and a fellow named Jeff from Minnesota). The night before, the First Family parents decided to roost right in the same area where they feed and spend a lot of time. At sundown, they just went into the water and folded themselves up for the night. They were gone when I got back in the morning, but it wasn’t long before they materialized out of the brush.

They stood, just stood, on dry land quite high out of the water and did not seem interested in feeding. Then male 211 flew off to the pensite, where the two other cranes were. In only a minute or two he was back. That's when the unison calling started and things got interesting. The pair were facing each other when the female 217 spread her wings full out. 211 walked around behind her and mounted. Mating was accomplished in moments. As Jeff, my fellow watcher said, it sure was a 'quickie'. Then, together they flew south to where I believe their nest is.

I decided to make a quick trip to Goose Pool. I stopped at the fishing pier on the road on top of the dike between Goose Pool and Sprague to look for the pair I had seen previously. Nothing. Then all of a sudden from over Sprague came big white wings, as one, then another, and then a third Whooping crane landed on Goose Pool’s far west side.

They sort of lined up in a row - two smaller birds and one bigger one. Trouble, I thought. Sure enough the two smaller birds got into it. Not a big fight, just enough to make a statement. "This is my territory and my man, so buzz off." The big one (the male?) just stood there as his mate ran off the third bird. Then there were two - and I got treated to another demonstration of unison calling and another 'quickie'.

Soon they flew north, and as the island in Goose Pool blocked my view, I went over to the Lupine Trail. As I started to walk the trail - it goes slightly uphill and then down to an area with a bench - who should fly in? You guessed it, the mating pair. I was on one side of the hill and these two 5' tall birds were on the other. We looked at each other for just a few seconds before they decided to take off and fly back to the west bank of Goose. There is a marsh there and they may be checking it out as a nesting area. I'm sure I was closer that the recommended distance but it was their doing, not mine, and they went off gently so all was well.

Bird watching sure is a slow, cold business, but very rewarding in the end. (I needed a better pair of gloves.) On one of my four days there it rained but the birds were still out, and although I got wet, I was more worried about my binoculars.

Most of my viewing was done between 6-9am and 5:30-8pm. There are a lot of other species on the refuge as well; each with its own favorite times and routines. The Sandhills were also mating. A pair is building a nest right in the middle of a big grass tuft (perfect camouflage) just a way off from the observation tower. Wish a pair of Whoopers would have ‘set up shop’ there!

My 'spring break' came to an end all too quickly and I had to leave to catch my flight. Needless to say I had a wonderful time, and I left Necedah a very happy person. Sure hope we have more nests this year.

Note: We thank Barbara for letting us share her story here. It made me green with envy and gave me the urge to jump in my car and head for Nedecah. If you are able, maybe it will encourage you to do exactly that.

Date: April 6, 2007 - Entry 3 Reporter:

Liz Condie

Subject:

Grant Opportunity for You

Location:

Main Office

Thanks to Birding Community E-bulletin sent to us by Paul Baicich and Wayne Peterson, we can give you a heads up about a funding opportunity your school or organization might be able to take advantage of.

NATURE OF LEARNING GRANTS
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), in cooperation with the USFWS (National Wildlife Refuge System, and the National Conservation Training Center) and National Wildlife Refuge Association, will be soliciting applications from organizations interested in initiating The Nature of Learning program, a community-based environmental education initiative.

Start-up grants of up to $10,000 will be awarded on a competitive basis to support initial expenses associated with new programs.

Nature of Learning seeks to:
-  Use National Wildlife Refuges as outdoor classrooms to promote a greater understanding of local conservation issues;
-  Encourage an interdisciplinary approach to learning that seeks to enhance student academic achievement.
-  Utilize field experiences and student-led stewardship projects to connect classroom lessons to real world issues.
-  Involve partnerships among local schools, community groups, natural resource professionals and local businesses.

Schools or non-profit organizations, including 'Friends' groups, Cooperative and Interpretive Associations, Bird Observatories, local Audubon groups, etc., are all eligible to apply for funding. Programs must involve a partnership with a local school (or schools), community group (e.g., Refuge Friends Group), and a National Wildlife Refuge.

The Nature of Learning supports one of the six major Fish and Wildlife Service's priorities: "connecting people with nature ensuring the future of conservation."

To learn more about qualifying projects, applications, and program details, visit Nature of Learning

Date: April 6, 2007 - Entry 2 Reporter:

Liz Condie

Subject:

Bidding heating up

Location:

Main Office

Don't forget to check out OM's eBay auction. (Scroll down to read Field Journal entry for April 3.)

To see what's on offer, how the bidding is going, or to place a bid click here.

Date: April 6, 2007 - Entry 1 Reporter:

Liz Condie

Subject:

Eastern Migratory Population Update - cont'd

Location:

Main Office

In Wisconsin

101 was confirmed back March 26 but without mate 202*. He remained at Site 1 during the last week.

102* separated from 216 upon arrival March 24/25. She was observed at Site 3 with 307 26 March before she moved alone and remained in Adams County. She has demonstrated a similar movement pattern in previous years.

After separating from 102*, 216 was found at Sprague Pool on 26 March, and with 412 at Site 4  March 27. He then returned to Sprague, and on 28 March 313* joined him on Goose Pool. This potential pair bond was broken when 408 arrived 29 March and claimed both the territory and 313*. 216 spent the rest of the week on Sprague Pool.

313* completed migration to Necedah 12 March. She apparently associated with both 310 and 205, but 28 March moved to Goose Pool and joined 216. She then joined 408 at this location 29 March after he displaced 216.

107* (non functional transmitter) was reported in Adams County, 26 March and again 29 March.

201* and 306 were back on their territory in Juneau County on 23 March and remained there the rest of the week.

205 arrived at Necedah by 19 March and usually stayed on Carter-Woggon Pool or adjacent areas.

209* was detected 26 March and an aerial survey 29 March also confirmed presence of her mate 416 (non functional transmitter) They were observed nest building.

A pair observed in Wood County 19 M arch was likely 212 and 419*.

213 and 218* arrived on Necedah 23 March.

301* and 311 arrived on their territory at Necedah 29 March.

303* and 317’s arrival date is unknown. They were confirmed back on an aerial survey 23 March.

307 remained on or near the refuge during the week. He had arrived ~12 March.

310 arrived ~19 March and remained on the refuge during the week.

312* and 316 were detected in flight 23 March over Marquette County and in Juneau County where they stayed with the exception of one night when they roosted on Sprague Pool.

401 and 520* were detected on the refuge 23 March but were not found 26 March. 520* was subsequently observed in Monroe County 2 April, but 401 has not been detected since 520* left the refuge.

407 returned to a previous use area on the refuge ~29 March and has not been located since. He had separated from 309* during migration.

408, 501*, and 514 arrived at the refuge together 29 March. 408 joined 313* at Goose Pool, while 501*and 514 remained in the area of Sprague Pool during the remainder of the week.

508* returned ~29 March. She roosted that night in Wood County.

402 and 403, roosted on the refuge 26 March. 402 usually remained on or near ERP but moved at the end of the week. 403 was not found during the remainder of the week.

412 (non functional transmitter replaced April 1) disassociated from 402 and 403 shortly after their return from migration but was observed at Site 4 on 27 March with 216. He moved to Site 3 and spent most of the week associating with Wild 601*.

DAR527* was detected near Columbia County on an aerial survey 29 March.

DAR528* was confirmed on or near Necedah NWR on an aerial survey 23 March. By 28 March she had returned to her previous summering area in Clark/Marathon Counties.

DAR532 was confirmed on or near Necedah NWR on an aerial survey 23 March but was not found when the refuge was checked 26 March or on any subsequent date.

The First Family
211 and 217* and chick Wild601*arrived on the parents’ territory on eastern East Rynearson Pool at the Necedah NWR by 20 March. Observation during an aerial survey 23 March indicated that their chick, Wild 601* had separated from them. The First Family parents remained on their territory during the week, and April 1, 211 was observed nest building.

Wild601* was observed alone at Site 3 26 March. She spent the remainder of the week there, usually associating with 412, but sometimes with 307.

View the photo here in the 2007 Spring photo journal.

Date: April 4, 2007 - Entry 1 Reporter:

Liz Condie

Subject:

Eastern Migratory Population Update

Location:

Main Office

This update was compiled from information provided by the Tracking and Monitoring Team consisting of Tally Love, Stacy Kerley (ICF), and Richard Urbanek (USF&WS).

= Female; DAR = direct autumn release.

In this week’s update Dr. Urbanek reduced his estimated of the size of the Eastern Migratory Population (EMP) from last week’s 61 birds to 60 (35 males and 25 females) due to a missing bird. This follows an earlier decrease of one bird also due to it not being found.

"
Two birds, 202* and 524 are missing and it is cause for concern," Urbanek said. "202*'s mate was found alone March 26 on their territory at Site 4 on the Necedah refuge." The female was last recorded March 13 as the pair entered southern Georgia March 13 on the first day of their spring migration.

524 (non-functional transmitter) has not been observed or detected since February 16 when he was wintering with 523 in Levy County, FL. Dr. Urbanek said he felt that a voluntary separation of the two wintering cranes was unlikely. "If 524 died in the area they were in, vegetation and water conditions would make finding his remains without the assistance of a transmitter almost impossible," he said.

At least 43 whooping cranes had completed migration to the core reintroduction area in Central Wisconsin by April 2.

Florida
509 - Lake County; 615 - Marion County; 523 -Levy County; 615 - Marion County; DAR627 - Lafayette County; 615 - Marion County, 415 - A Whooping crane believed to be415*(non-functional transmitter) was last observed in Madison County 19 February.

Spring Migration
- 105 and 519* began migration on 28 March and were in Georgia on March 29 March.

- 309* and 407 had paired in Pasco County, FL early in the winter stayed in Alachua County until leaving on migration March 19. PTT readings for 309* indicated they roosted near in Shelby County, KY March 22 and in Jennings County, IN March 23 and 24. The pair apparently separated at or before this latter stop. PTT readings for 309* indicated she roosted in Randolph County, IN 26-28 March; Gratiot County, MI 30 March; and, in Saginaw County, MI 31 March. 309* has a complex history of errant migration. She migrated to New York during the previous two springs. 407 was next detected on one of his previous use on the Necedah NWR, WI 29 March.

- 318 remained in Georgetown County, SC until beginning migration 19 or 20 March. A reported Whooping crane in Kalamazoo County, MI 21 March may have been 318. No subsequent reports have been received.

- 420* remained in Jackson County, IN at least through 6 March. No subsequent reports have been received.

- 502*, 503, and 507* began migration on 18 March and roosted in Hamilton County, TN 20 March, Jackson County, IN 21 March, where, according to PTT readings for no. 502* they remained at least until 28 March. A low precision PTT reading for 502* indicated the group may have roosted in southwestern Michigan 1 April.

- DAR533* remained in Jackson County, IN until 21 March. She roost in Allen County, IN and by 26 March was in Oceana and Newaygo Counties, MI. Low precision PTT readings indicated that she may have moved to northern Lower Michigan on or by 1 April.

- DAR626 and DAR628 began migration from Pasco County, FL, on 24 March. They proceeded to roost 24 March in Thomas County, GA; 25 March Heard County, GA; 26 March Davidson County, TN: 27 March Davies County, IN where they were grounded by rain and poor migrating conditions for the remainder of the week. On 1 April the two separated. DAR626 remained behind while DAR628 continued migration to Pulaski County, IN.

- An unidentified Whooping crane (confirmed by photo) was reported flying with Sandhills over Porter County, IN on 27 March.

The First Family
- 211 and 217* arrived on their territory on eastern East Rynearson Pool (ERP), Necedah NWR by 20 March. Observation during an aerial survey 23 March indicated that their chick, Wild601* had separated from them by this date. The adults remained on their territory during the week and 211 was observed nest building April 1.

- Wild601* was observed alone at Site 3 on Necedah refuge on 26 March. Sheroosted that night on or near the Bee Cut, and spent the remainder of the week at Site 3, associating sometimes with 307 but usually with 412.

Transmitter Replacement
412 was captured at Site 3 April 1 and his transmitter was replaced.

The partnership thanks Sara Zimorski (ICF), Windway Aviation and pilot Mike Frakes, and Marty Folk and staff (Florida FWCC) for tracking assistance, and Sara Zimorski and Richard Van Heuvelen (OM) for capture assistance.

Date: April 3, 2007 - Entry 1 Reporter:

Liz Condie

Subject:

Going once, Going twice, GONE!

Location:

Main Office

Our Newest Venture: Operation Migration has joined forces with MissionFish’, the charitable arm of eBay. OM is participating in their ‘Spotlight on Saving Our Environment’ campaign which kicked off April 1 and runs through May 31.

That’s right! We are conducting our first ever eBay auction!

Over the next few weeks donated items of all description will be put up for auction on eBay. Why not join in the fun? If you'd like to view all OM's current items in one place click here.

We will be adding to the initial selection of auction items as time progresses so be sure and check back regularly to see more interesting and unique articles as they become available.

Check our eBay auction out. You just might snag yourself a bargain and help your favorite charitable organization at the same time.

If you are an eBay merchant you and would like to donate a portion of the proceeds from your sales to Operation Migration, email info@operationmigration.org or visit www.missionfish.org for details.

Date: April 1, 2007 - Entry 3 Reporter:

The OM Team

Subject:

MileMaker 2007 Launches Today!

Location:

Main Office

MileMaker 2007, the fundraising campaign designed to help defray the costs of OM’s annual ultralight-led migration, launches today, April 1.

"The many generous and committed people who support Operation Migration's MileMaker campaign are the financial backbone of our organization," said CEO and senior pilot, Joe Duff. "Collectively, these individuals make the annual miracle of migration possible."

"While stressful and tough to do, there is one advantage to having to operate on a shoestring," said Liz Condie, OM's COO and Director of Communications and Fund Development. "We've become experts at squeezing six cents out of every nickel. We have struck our budget for the coming year, and 2007 MileMaker sponsorships will remain unchanged from 2006," she said. (1mile @ $206; 1/2 mile @ $103; and 1/4 mile @$51.50)

Last year's MileMaker campaign got off to a heart-stopping slow start. When the ultralights lifted off from Necedah on Migration Day One, only 296 of the 1250 migration miles were sponsored - barely enough to get the chicks and crew over the Indiana border. Anxiety levels were high as by the same time in 2005, MileMaker sponsorships were just short of the Georgia/Florida border.

You Craniacs came through in the end however, and MileMaker came within a few hundred miles of selling out. That's our goal for this year - a complete sellout!

There are few ways and few opportunities for individuals to influence, much less change or make history. But the staunch support of so many of you is living proof that determination, and a belief held in the hearts and minds of enough committed people can make difference, and collectively, can both change and make history.

The Operation Migration team has the will and the skill, but we can not get the 2007 generation of endangered Whooping cranes chicks to Florida without your help. Please be a MileMaker and become a part of this historic effort to safeguard a species.

Date: April 1, 2007 - Entry 2 Reporter:

Liz Condie

Subject:

Fresh supply arrives

Location:

Main Office

When we told 6 year old Emily and her Mom, Margaret Black, that the cards Em designed and donated to OM to sell on our website were flying off the shelf, we unleashed a flurry of activity. Within days, the dynamic mother and daughter duo burst through our office door laden with a new supply.

Accompanying Margaret and Emily on their trip to see us were their friends, naturalists Jennifer and Jeff Howard from Innisfil, Ontario. We hope they all enjoyed their visit with us as much as we enjoyed having them.

To view or purchase Em’s wonderful crane cards click here.

Date: April 1, 2007 - Entry 1 Reporter:

Liz Condie

Subject:

Florida Non – Migratory Flock Update

Location:

Main Office

Marty Folk, biologist with the Florida Fish & Conservation Commission recently advised, "We have a pair of Whooping cranes (1009/1020)that is nesting. "However, water levels are low, so we do not have great expectations for the nest."

This pair, which abandoned their nests prior to hatching the last 2 years, began incubation on March 21st. They have set up a video surveillance system to watch the nest.

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