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Date: May 31, 2007 - Entry 1 Reporter:

Liz Condie

Subject:

Recovery Plan

Location:

Main Office

Just in from Whooping Crane Recovery Team chair, Tom Stehn, is the latest version of the International Recovery Plan (IRP). The 163 page report documents Canadian and U.S. plans for the recovery of Grus Americana.

To read the report, (.pdf format) click here. It may also be accessed via a link we have placed on our Site Map.

Date: May 29, 2007 - Entry 2 Reporter:

Bev Paulan

Subject:

A Day in the life of a 'Crane Chick Mama'

Location:

Maryland

The days speed past in a flurry of activity. It is nothing to work 12 hours, and many days stretch even longer than that. My usual days off are Sundays and Mondays, but its rare I get to take both. Breaks during the day for the OM crew are uncommon, there is just too much to do and not enough hands to do it.

Each chick has to be exercised three times a day: trike training, walking and swimming. Each of these sessions are usually a minimum of 20 minutes from pen back to pen, and at the moment there are 23 chicks being worked with.

Then there is the socialization - when we bring new chicks together for the first time as we try to build the cohorts. Currently, 702, 703 and 706 are being trained and walked together and 707, 708 and 709 together. 710 had been with them but developed a limp and has been on cage rest/no exercise for a few days.

This morning we introduced 710 and 714 together. 714 is such a large bird for its age that we are considering putting in the first cohort with 702 and 710. 714 is 710's sibling, but looks like a miniature version of him. However, 714 does not share 710's sweet temperament and was constantly trying to peck 710. We will try it again tomorrow and hopefully, peace will prevail.

Part of socializing includes walking a group of birds to a pond and letting them forage while supervised. The last several days have been very warm here, (upper 80s) and just getting the birds to the pond can overheat them. So we put out a foot bath for them halfway to the pond to let them get a drink and cool down. 702, 703, 704 and 706 were taken to the pond (which is part of an enclosed pen site) and allowed to forage for 5 hours while we all took turns. What a joyful experience this was for me, getting to watch the young cranes just be cranes. The pond had been recently flooded and there were worms everywhere. You can imagine the fun the chicks were having finding and eating the worms.

It is amazing to me to watch these birds discover what they can do; what they are supposed to be behaving like. While taking my turn supervising, I watched as 702 foraged in the pond. Every dip of his head resulted in the gulping down of a worm.

Then I noticed a head dip with no worm, then another and another. Pretty soon, not only was the head dipping under the water, but the bird was now crouching with its belly touching the water's surface. Soon, the head was dipping just enough to allow the water to run down his neck. There would be an occasional shake of the body, and then it hit me -he was trying to take a bath!

Finally all the dipping and shaking came together as the body and bird discovered just the right combination for a bath. With wings flapping, neck dipping, soon water was rushing across his back, under his wings and finally cascading over his tail back into the water.

I stood in total awe of this moment, of this eureka moment for the chick as he learned what all his ancestors knew. Soon, 706 waded out into the pond and went through the exact same awkward motions as it made the same discovery. Then 704 did the same. It was as if the same light bulb went on in their heads at the same time. Its not often one gets to observe a 'first' It was almost like watching a child take its first step, or utter its first word. The excitement is there, the joy, the pride!

After bath time, I sat on the edge of the water with my back leaning against the shade shelter. The temptation was great to nod off, but I didn't want to miss anything, miss any new discoveries. I was thoroughly enjoying the peace and serenity of watching my young charges forage, preen and do their bird thing when I felt a nudge on my arm.

I looked down, and there was 706 trying to burrow under my arm. I moved my arm and he nestled right in against my side and lay down. Tears came to my eyes as the realization hit that I had been accepted as mama crane. I leaned back, sighing and wishing this peaceful moment would last forever.

Unfortunately it lasted exactly 30 seconds when 703 took exception to the younger interloper brooding with ‘his’ mama. With a sharp peck to the head, 703 drove 706 away, back into the water and away from my side.

In the meantime, 704 had wandered over to investigate. He saw his reflection in my face mask and took a few tentative pecks, ultimately deciding the stranger he saw was no threat. He continued to forage within arms reach until my replacement approached drawing all the birds' attention away from me. Ahhh, such is the life of a crane mama!

After experiencing that wonderful afternoon, with those great memories, it broke my heart, when, on Sunday afternoon, Brian Clauss called me tell me about 704. I cried once again over the loss of one of the chicks. 704 was a beautiful bird (as are they all) and was a great follower, staying close to the handler and the trike at all times. I know this is a part of the game and there will always be losses, but they are nonetheless hard and heart breaking. That's one part of being crane mama I won't ever enjoy.

View the photos here in the 2007 Spring photo journal.

Date: May 29, 2007 - Entry 1 Reporter:

Liz Condie

Subject:

Eastern Migratory Population Update

Location:

Main Office

This update was compiled from data provided by Richard Urbanek (USFWS), Stacey Kerley (ICF), and N. Frey. Thanks to Sara Zimorski (ICF) and Windway Aviation and pilot Charles Koehler for tracking assistance.

In the highlights below, * = female; DAR = direct autumn release; NFT = non functional transmitter. Estimated size of the Eastern Migratory Population (EMP) at the end of the week was 57 individuals (32 males and 25 females): 54 in Wisconsin, 1 in Michigan, 1 in New York, and 1 unknown (last record in Ohio).

Missing Birds
- 202* was last recorded on March 13 as she and her mate, 101, entered Georgia on the first day of spring migration. (suspected dead)
- 524 was last observed with his associate, 523 in Levy County, FL February 16. (suspected dead)
- 516 began migration from Marion County, FL between April 21-29. He was next reported foraging with two Sandhills in Lorain County, Ohio on 12 May. He left the area shortly after that observation and no subsequent reports have been received.

New York
309* remained in Lewis County at the beginning of the week. By May 21 she had returned the Castorland area, and on May 23 she went back to near her former location. Her PTT reading on May 26 indicated she was still in that area.

Michigan
DAR 533* continued to remain in southwestern Michigan, mostly in Berrien, Cass, and Van Buren Counties. No reports of visual observations were received however.

Wisconsin Notes
Due to the onset of the growing season, most of the birds that had been using cornfields returned to wetlands on or near the refuge.

- 317 and 303* continued incubating (re-nested May 14) on the Necedah NWR.

- First Family adults 211 and 217* remained on their territory on or near eastern East Rynearson Pool  throughout the week. May 24th the pair was observed adding material to the nest that they had been observed building earlier in the month, but no other reproductive activity was noted.

- 213 and 218* usually foraged during the day on drawn down West Rynearson Pool and roosted there, on West Rice Pool, or near Site 2. May 20 they were observed building a new nest north of Site 2, but they again produced no eggs.

- 307’s transmitter began failing three weeks ago and he was not detected during the week.

- May 24th, a Whooping crane believed to be 415*NFT was observed foraging with a small number of Sandhills in Adams County. She had last been observed in Madison County, FL in mid February. Her current location is within her 2006 summering area.

- 318 returned to Necedah May 27, landing on West Rynearson Pool where he was observed with Sandhill cranes. He had last been reported May 8 in Mason County, MI. His return to Necedah NWR was his first successfully completed, unassisted, spring migration in four years. Apparently he was finally able to circumvent Lake Michigan. His previous migrations had terminated on the eastern shore of the lake in Oceana or Mason Counties. (He, along with 301*, were retrieved from Mason County in the spring of 2005.)

- On May 20th Wild 601* was reported with Sandhills in Sauk County, just south of her frequently used location in Columbia County. She was with 503 and 507* in Wood County May 21 and returned to Necedah on the 24th where she stayed for the remainder of the week.

Date: May 28, 2007 - Entry 3 Reporter:

Liz Condie

Subject:

Chick Mortality

Location:

Main Office

Sadly, we report that 704 died yesterday. Bev advised that he trained normally in the morning, but was spotted sitting not moving in his outside run in the afternoon. A costume went in to check him and he died in her hands. Patuxent's Dr. Glen Olsen will perform a necropsy to determine the cause of death.

Date: May 28, 2007 - Entry 2 Reporter:

Liz Condie

Subject:

OM's Home Page

Location:

Main Office

Since several visitors to our website advised us they were having problems connecting to our home page we have been doing some investigating. We discovered that as a result of some modifications made by our website host, some ‘addresses’ have changed.

As most web browsers store data from web pages to expedite their loading, when something in the nature of the page changes, the browsers are not up do date and an error will occur. To resolve this, the computer’s cache needs to be cleared.

If you find you need to do this and you use Microsoft Internet Explorer:
Go to Tools > Internet Options. On the ‘General Tab’ under Temporary Internet Files, click Delete Cookies; under History, click Clear History.

If you use Mozilla Firefox:
Go to Tools > Clear Private Data. Check off Browsing History, Cache, Cookies. Press clear private data now.

To go to OM’s Home page type www.operationmigration.org, or for the Field Journal www.operationmigration.org/Field_Journal.html in your browser window. The 'people who should know' tell me this should resolve the problem for most computers.

Date: May 28, 2007 - Entry 1 Reporter:

Liz Condie

Subject:

eBay Auctions end today

Location:

Main Office

Last chance. All of OM's auctions through MissionFish on ebay end today. The Memorial Day weekend/celebrations seem to have slowed the bidding down so there are some bargains to be had. Click here to go to our eBay site.

Date: May 27, 2007 - Entry 2 Reporter:

Liz Condie

Subject:

Another Hatch

Location:

Main Office

Intern Megan Kennedy let us know a short while ago that 727 hatched this morning.

Reporting on some of the other chicks, Megan advised:
- 718 and 719 are showing signs of healthy appetites but are still unwell from the diarrhea they and several other chicks contracted.

- 722 has now learned to eat and drink on his own and is doing well. 723 was eating on his own when he left the ICU, but suffered a setback when he dehydrated overnight. He's doing much better now and fell asleep in the handlers’ hands when they were taping his toes.

Megan said, "When we put the ramp in to let 721 go outside he got really excited. He likes to jump around. When we first moved 724 from the Propagation Building to the Crane Chick Building (CCB), he cried and cried. He'd get really angry at the puppet and unless the puppet gave him his food, he wouldn't eat. He's eating on his own now and he's one of the best drinkers."

- 725 and 26 were moved to the CCB yesterday and are slowly learning to eat and drink on their own.

Hope to have pictures of the rest of the chicks to post this week as well as updates to the chick bios on the Class of 2007 page. Crawling around trying to capture the little critters using a camouflaged camera while gloved and fully costumed isn't exactly easy. But it isn't for lack of trying. Bev says if it wasn't for blue jeans under the costume her knees would be full of rug burns.

View the photos here in the 2007 Spring photo journal.

Date: May 27, 2007 - Entry 1 Reporter:

Carl Wagle

Subject:

First posting from Intern Carl

Location:

Maryland

I watched as 707 raced to and fro along the Plexiglas that separates it from the adult role model next door, where perceived comfort, attention, and love abounds.

The young crane had the side of its head, all its neck, and part of its breast pressed firmly flat against the clear barrier as it careened to the right, then stumbled to get to the left. It appears as if some invisible part of this young bird has gotten through to the other side. The frantic body wants to join it.

It is my calling to step into his pen with puppet head, vocalizer, and silent companionship to help this little one accept and adjust to his reality.

Date: May 26, 2007 - Entry 2 Reporter:

Liz Condie

Subject:

Chick Training Video

Location:

Main Office

Thanks to Bev, we were able to bring back a short video of Circle Pen training. In it you can see the contrast in size between 702, hatched April 18, and little 703, hatched 11 days later on April 29. Be patient, the video may take a while to load.

Date: May 26, 2007 - Entry 1 Reporter:

Liz Condie

Subject:

New Faces

Location:

Main Office

Say hello to our new interns for the 2007 season. You can read their bios on the 'Meet Our Team' page. Carl has been working at Patuxent with Bev and Brooke and the PWRC chick crew for the past month. As much as we would love to have him continue through the summer in Wisconsin and on migration, Carl's internship will conclude with the shipment of the third and last cohort to Necedah.

We met Megan and Nathan when they arrived in Maryland on Saturday the 19th and found them enthusiastic and ready to learn. While it will take them a while to absorb the protocols and the ins and outs of chick handling, they are a welcome addition to the OM Team. The extra hands will give the terrifically busy chick crew some needed relief.

View the photos here in the 2007 Spring photo journal.

Date: May 25, 2007 - Entry 2 Reporter:

Liz Condie

Subject:

Chick News

Location:

Main Office

The chick count in climbing with two more hatching out. 725 (egg from ACRES) hatched on the 24th, and 726, a PWRC egg, hatched today.

Several of the chicks have developed diarrhea, (714 - 719) and have the chick crew concerned. They have looked at every possible cause and are doubling precautions to ensure nothing is transmitted to the other birds.

Date: May 25, 2007 - Entry 1 Reporter:

Liz Condie

Subject:

Current eBay auctions ending soon

Location:

Main Office

Our final set of items for the Earth Day celebration auction on eBay have been posted. All the auctions end with the Memorial Day weekend. By popular demand we have included 10 prints selected by the OM staff, including a few favorites requested by Craniacs. Take a moment and have a look – we guarantee you won’t be disappointed! Click here to go to our eBay site.

Date: May 24, 2007 - Entry 1 Reporter:

Liz Condie

Subject:

OM Volunteer Nominated for Canadian
Environmental Award

Location:

Main Office

We've always said our volunteers are extraordinary people. While the talents they contribute are as diverse as they are, they all share three special characteristics. They are committed, selfless, and passionate about what they care about. And they all care deeply about conservation and the environment.

Beyond the time and effort they devote to OM, many have other related interests. One such individual is George McCubbin, who volunteers one day a week in OM's Port Perry office. Besides our having come to rely on George for many things, he is always the bright spot in our week.

We are thrilled to report that George is one of three people short-listed for a prestigious 2007 Canadian Environmental Award. The winner will be announced June 4 in Montreal, Canada. George has been nominated in the category of Sustainable Living, based on a number of environmentally-oriented programs he instituted in his Lindsay, Ontario condominium complex.

Since moving to the complex in 2004, George has helped fellow residents increase their recycling, cut their garbage in half, and save more than 67,000 kilowatt-hours a year in energy use; enough energy to power 6 American homes for a year! They now have a battery recycling box, soda-can tab collection, an eyeglass collection for third-world countries, plastic bag collection for recycling, cell-phone recycling boxes and even scrap metal collection. George has been visiting surrounding complexes in the hope that they, and eventually the city, will adopt many of his programs.

Although George has met great success in making his complex environmentally  sustainable,  he is constantly looking to find even more ways to recycle. "My goal," he says, "is to leave no stone unturned in the name of reducing our impact on Earth."

George also hopes to create a legacy of environmentally sustainable living through education. "Educating people is an important part of the process because this is a co-operative effort. Now I've begun giving talks to other groups.”

The gold and silver 2007 Canadian Environmental Awards winners will be recognized with $2500 to $5000, to be given to a cause of their choice. We are honored and delighted that George has decided to donate any award funds to Operation Migration.

If you would like to learn more about the awards, please visit 2007 Canadian Environmental Awards. George's feature can be found under Sustainable Living in the Community Awards section.

George's environmental sustainability initiatives along side his support and contributions to OM make us so proud to have him as a Craniac. Way to go George, and good luck in June!

If you live in a condo or apartment and would like to learn how to institute any of George’s programs, please contact info@operationmigration.org.

Date: May 23, 2007 - Entry 4 Reporter:

Liz Condie

Subject:

Chick Snaps

Location:

Main Office

View the photos here in the 2007 Spring photo journal.

Don't forget to visit the Class of 2007 Bio page. We'll update it as fast as we receive the info from Bev.

Date: May 23, 2007 - Entry 3 Reporter:

Liz Condie

Subject:

Florida Population Loses Nest

Location:

Main Office

In a posting April 26th, we told you about two eggs that were removed from the nest of a pair of Whooping cranes in the Florida non-migratory flock. There is now a sequel to this story, and you can read about it below in the words of Marty Folk, Biological Scientist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

"On 16 April we took two eggs out of a nest on Lake Kissimmee in an effort to reduce the threat of an airboat strike to a pair of nesting Whoopers. Disney's Animal Kingdom incubated the eggs until we could determine that they were developed enough to be transported to Patuxent.

April 27 the eggs were flown to Baltimore-Washington International airport, accompanied by Florida Whooping crane biologist, Kathy Chappell, and handed off to Patuxent's Dan Sprague. The eggs hatched May 3rd (708) and May 5th (709).

Meanwhile, despite how late it was in the breeding season, the Florida pair of Whooping crane re-nested. May 8th we discovered them incubating just over 100 yards from the location of their previous nest.

This time we tried a different approach to reduce the threat of airboat strike. On May 11th we posted a protective zone around the nest to reduce human disturbance. Our agency's law enforcement division was providing support, especially on weekends, when boat traffic is heaviest. Most boaters honored the closed area, but we documented boats entering the zone several times. On one occasion, six airboats entered the zone, flushing the incubating bird off the nest.

On Saturday, May 19th, there was an air boat festival based at the boat ramp a mile from the nest. Two of our agency's law enforcement officers in one airboat and two biologists in another, ‘patroled’ the edge of the closed zone around the nest during the festival.

Most people respected the signs and went around the zone. However, several groups of airboats blatantly crossed the closed zone. An airboat ran over the nest and destroyed the clutch.

It could not be determined which boat was responsible for the act, so no one could be arrested. Fortunately the adult pair were unhurt - although there might have been a different outcome if it had happened at night."

Date: May 23, 2007 - Entry 2 Reporter:

Liz Condie

Subject:

Chick Update

Location:

Main Office

The chart below contains as much information as we have at the moment on some of the chicks in the Class of 2007. There are pictures and some personality notes on the Class of '07 Bio page.

#

Egg From

Hatch

Weighed

702

SAZ

4 / 18

122 grams

703

CZ

4 / 29

150

704

PWRC

5 / 01

134

705

CZ

5 / 01

Euthanized

706

CZ

5 / 01

127

707

PWRC

5 / 02

116

708

FNMP

5 / 03

135

709

FNMP

5 / 05

132

710

PWRC

5 / 07

154

711

PWRC

5 / 08

Genetic Holdback

712

CZ

5 / 09

 

713

CZ

5 / 10

 

714

PWRC

5 / 10

 

715

CZ

5 / 15

 

716

PWRC

5 / 16

 

717

EMP/NNWR

5 / 16

 

718

PWRC

5 / 17

 

719

PWRC

5 / 18

 

720

PWRC

5 / 19

Euthanized May 21

721

PWRC

5 / 21

 

722

CZ

5 / 21

 

723

PWRC

5 / 22

 

724

?

5 / 22

 

(100 grams = 3.53 ounces) (There is one other genetically valuable chick that will be pulled from the program but at this moment we don't know which one it is.)

(Legend: SAZ = San Antonio Zoo; CZ = Calgary Zoo; PWRC = Patuxent Wildlife Research Center; FNMP = Florida Non-migratory Population; ICF = International Crane Foundation; ACRES = Audubon Center for Research of Endangered Species; EMP/NNWR = Eastern Migratory Population parents on Necedah National Wildlife Refuge.

While we were were in Patuxent, Joe and I sat in on a Chick Crew meeting chaired by John French. The current egg count there is 11, more than enough to give us our hoped for 24 birds. Key to attaining this is the number of chicks that can be reared and trained by the Chick crew. OM has supplied a team of five people to help this year, so we have our fingers crossed.

Date: May 23, 2007 - Entry 1 Reporter:

Liz Condie

Subject:

Eastern Migratory Population Update

Location:

Main Office

Note: Once again I apologize to our readers for the time between postings. Joe and I arrived back at the office this morning from two weeks on the road. We slowly made our way back north from Florida giving presentations to schools and other groups along our route. In our travels we try to stay in small of the way places to keep expenses down, that's the upside - but the downside is they rarely have internet.

This update was compiled from data provided by Stacy Kerley (ICF), and Richard Urbanek (USF&WS). Thanks to Gordon Moschke for property access; Glenn Klingler and Heather Keough (USDA Forest Service), Windway Aviation/pilot Charles Koehler, and Sara Zimorski for tracking assistance.

In the highlights below, * = female; DAR = direct autumn release; NFT = non functional transmitter. Estimated size of the Eastern Migratory Population (EMP) is 57 individuals, 32 males and 25 females. The onset of the growing season resulted most of the birds that had been using cornfields returning to wetlands on or near the refuge.

Michigan
- 318 was last reported in Mason County on May 8 but was not found there or in Oceana County during checks made May 14 and 18 but was not found during a check on May 14.
- DAR533* remained in Berrien, Cass, or Van Buren Counties but was not found when these areas were checked on May 14.

New York/Ontario
- 309* remained at previously used location in Lewis County at the beginning of the week then crossed the St. Lawrence River to roost near Fenaghvale, Ontario. On May 15 she roosted near Ottawa and was reportedly foraging in a cornfield there the next morning. By the 18th she was back in Lewis County.

Migration

- 516 began migration from Marion County, FL between 21 and 29 April. He was next reported in Lorain County, Ohio May 12th. He left the area shortly after that observation and no subsequent reports have been received.

Location Unknown
- 202* was last recorded with her mate, 101, on March 13 as the pair entered southern Georgia on the first day of spring migration. (mortality suspected)
- 524 was last observed with 523 in Levy County, FL February16. (mortality suspected)
- A Whooping crane believed to be 415* (NFT) was last observed February 19th with a small number of Sandhills in Madison County, FL. No subsequent reports have been received, but Dr. Urbanek says he expects she is back in WI.

Wisconsin Notes
The passage of a cold front on the 15th appears to have triggered a flurry of nest building but no eggs have as yet been produced.

- 317 and 303* re-nested and began incubating on May 14th and continued incubating through the remainder of the week.
- 201* and 306 were observed nest building on May 15 but apparently produced no eggs.
- 211 and 217* remained on their territory throughout the week and were observed nest building on May 15 but produced no eggs.
- 213 and 218* were observed nest building on 15 May but apparently produced no eggs. They were also observed nest building north of Site 2 on May 20 but again produced no eggs.
- 209* and 416: 209* was observed sitting on what appeared to be a nest but an examination of the marsh on 20 May revealed several Sandhill crane nest platforms, an active Sandhill crane nest with one egg, and a possible old whooping crane nest, but no recently constructed whooping crane nests.

Wild 601* returned from Columbia County with 510* and 511 on May 14th. She joined 205 on May 16, disassociated from him on the next day, and then rejoined 510* and 511 to roost north of Site 3. She left the refuge on May 18 and returned to Columbia County. She was reported in Sauk County May 20, and was found with 503 and 507* in Wood County on May 21.

View the photos here in the 2007 Spring photo journal.

Date: May 17, 2007 - Entry 1 Reporter:

Liz Condie

Subject:

Time’s running out

Location:

Pennsylvania

Only two weekends remain for OM’s eBay auctions.

For the May 18th weekend, we are auctioning off a copy of the script for movie Fly Away Home, a string of 18 cranes made by the Studnickas, some wonderful artwork, photography, and books and videos.

Remember, these auction items will only be a 'weekend event', so visit OM's Auction Page to bid!

Date: May 16, 2007 - Entry 1 Reporter:

Bev Paulan

Subject:

Chick Report

Location:

PWRC

Another day, another chick! Amongst all the other happenings here, 715 hatched yesterday. Rather speedily, too. He was moved to the hatcher tray (from the incubator) in the morning, and by 2pm we moved him into the ICU.

You might notice I have a tendency to dub all the chicks 'him'. None have been sexed yet and it is so much easier than saying ‘it’ Everyone here does it, so, rightly or wrongly, I have followed suit.

The socialization of the young 'uns continues. 702 and 703 continue training together and seem to be getting along. 704 and 706 are training together, and as long as we feed 706 right before we put them together, they get along. (706 gets a little cranky when he gets hungry!)

707 and 708 are the cutest. They are like two peas in a pod and train well together with no aggression. Today we introduced 709 and 710 for the first time and there was quite a lot of bill pecking with 709 finally coming out on top after their twenty minute walk. 712, 713, and 714 are all still to young to even be allowed outdoors yet, let alone be walked, and 715, well, that's quite a few days off yet.

So, the end of another hectic day and the possibility of 716 joining very soon. Gosh, I love this job!

View the photo here in the 2007 Spring photo journal.

Date: May 16, 2007 - Entry 1 Reporter:

Liz Condie

Subject:

Eastern Migratory Population Update

Location:

Virginia

Note: Apologies for the long time away from the Field Journal folks. Joe and I have been on the road since this past Sunday morning working our way north from Florida and stopping to do presentations along the way. Seems we haven't been able to make our available 'work time' coincide with the availability of an internet connection.

This update was compiled from data provided by Stacy Kerley (ICF), and Richard Urbanek (USF&WS). Thanks to Glenn Klingler and Heather Keough (USDA Forest Service) for tracking assistance and to Windway Aviation and pilot Mike Frakes, and Sara Zimorski (ICF) for retrieval of DAR627.

In the highlights below, * = female; DAR = direct autumn release; NFT = non functional transmitter. Estimated size of the Eastern Migratory Population (EMP) is 57 individuals, 32 males and 25 females.

Michigan
- 318 remained in Mason County early in the week but was not found during a check on May 14.
- DAR533* remained in Van Buren or Cass Counties but was not found when these areas were checked on May 14.

New York
- 309* moved to at least three different locations in Lewis County during the week. On May 14 she roosted near Fenaghvale, Ontario in Canada.

Location Unknown
- 516 began migration from Marion County, FL April 21-29 and no subsequent reports have been received.
- 202* was last recorded with her mate, 101, on March 13 as the pair entered southern Georgia on the first day of spring migration. (mortality suspected)
- 524 was last observed with his associate, 523 in Levy County, FL February16. (mortality suspected)
- A Whooping crane believed to be 415* (NFT) was last observed February 19th with a small number of Sandhills in Madison County, FL. No subsequent reports have been received, but Dr. Urbanek says he expects she is back in WI.

Wisconsin Notes
Until May 14th when 303* and 317 re-nested and began incubating there had been no nesting activity. A passing cold front on May 15th produced a flurry of nest building with three additional pairs (two of then re-nesting) observed building nests. The nest builders were pairs: 201* and 306; 213 and 218*; and First Family parents, 211 and 217*. (310 and 501* were observed in rudimental nest-building on May 6.)

Wild601* remained in Columbia County during the week. She associated and foraged with 510* and 511 when they were in the area.

DAR627 was retrieved from Michigan, transported back to Wisconsin and released on Necedah NWR.

Date: May 12, 2007 - Entry 2 Reporter:

Liz Condie

Subject:

IMBD at DAK a HIT!

Location:

Florida

International Migratory Bird Day at Walt Disney World's ANIMAL KINGDOM was a hit!

Joe and I have had an action packed but wonderful three days at Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World. Thursday, we were hosted by Dr. Beth Stevens, VP of Disney Animal Kingdom and Joe did a presentation to the management staff. Thanks Dr. Beth!

Friday, we went to Windermere, FL for a presentation to a terrific group of Grade 5 students – 9 classes of them! The kids at this school raised $1,113 for Whooping cranes last fall. They treated us to their version of a Whooping crane call - and that was really special. What a great bunch of kids. Thanks to science teacher Lynn Tidmus!

Early yesterday morning, we set up our event display booth and Joe's ultralight in front of Conservation Station at Animal Kingdom. We spent an amazing day talking to adults and kids about Whooping cranes, and answering their many questions about the project. It was marvelous to be able to reach out to so many people – especially the hundreds of youngsters. It was great fun and ever so rewarding to watch many turn into Craniacs right in front of our eyes! Thanks to Scott Tidmus and Alex McMichael for all their efforts to make this day happen!

We will post more detail about these three events as soon as we can, but Joe and I are back on the road this morning and headed for Jacksonville, FL where we will be doing a presentation at the Zoo later today. Thanks to Billy Brooks, (USF&WS Jacksonville) for all his work in setting this event up for us!

Photo taken just before we finished tearing down and packing up at Disney's Animal Kingdom yesterday.

Starting in the back row from the left are: Craniacs Peggy and Mark Chenoweth who made the day's photography (free pics of kids in our ultralight) possible); Joe, Chuck Underwood, from the Jacksonville office of WCEP partner US Fish & Wildlife Service.

Front row left to right: Liz; Alec McMichael, Manager of Special Events and Media at Disney; Scott Tidmus, Zoological Manager, Disney’s Animal Kingdom; and Event Coordinator Erica Anderson, who was instrumental in pulling things together.

We can’t thank everyone enough for the opportunities they provided us to reach out to so many people, and, for all their behind the scenes efforts on Operation Migration's behalf. Each contributed to making this trip to Florida an extraordinary experience – and without doubt, a tremendous success.

Date: May 12, 2007 - Entry 1 Reporter:

Liz Condie

Subject:

Movie script on eBay

Location:

Florida

Just two weeks left for OM’s auctions on eBay. There has already been a number of wonderful items on the auction block, and there are more to come. Over the May 12/13th weekend we have a special item being auctioned - the original production/shooting storyboard for the Columbia Picture's movie 'Fly Away Home'. This is a unique item for any Craniac, but also a neat gift for Hollywood buffs or fans of the movie.

There will also be some interesting art, books, and more. To see all our current eBay listings click here.

......and - HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!!

Date: May 11, 2007 - Entry 1 Reporter:

Liz Condie

Subject:

Happy International Migratory Bird Day

Location:

Florida

We wish you an especially happy day Saturday, May 12th. It is International Migratory Bird Day - one of our favorite celebrations. International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD) reminds us to give some thought to what a precious gift these wonderful creatures are to our world.

According to the American Bird Conservancy, more than one third of the 650 bird species that breed in the U.S. now have declining populations, are restricted to small ranges, or face serious threats. Each year, an estimated 2.5 billion birds are killed inadvertently in the U.S. due to human activities. Causes of the bird mortalities include collisions with lighted buildings and communication towers, pesticide poisoning, and free-roaming cat predation.

Two million acres of bird habitat are lost to development annually, and the potential impacts of climate change also raise serious concern. The combination of mass mortality and serious habitat loss poses a grave risk to many bird species across all regions and habitats. We all need to do everything we can today to preserve and protect them so we can be sure the marvel of migratory birds is around for future generations.

International Migratory Bird Day
2007 highlights the threat posed to birds by climate change. Other initiatives aimed at conserving birds include the North American Bird Conservation Initiative, Partners in Flight, and the Bird Conservation Alliance. These programs and partnerships are building capacity among both public and private organizations to protect birds across the entire U.S. landscape.

Date: May 10, 2007 - Entry 1 Reporter:

Bev Paulan

Subject:

Class of 2007 Stats

Location:

PWRC

There are many different aspects to my job. On any given day I'm not sure quite what I will be doing, other than taking care of the birds of course. I've been feeding, cleaning, examining, walking, training, swimming and feeding even more.

Yesterday was one of those days that I can look back on and just say "Wow, am I ever lucky to have this job!" My first treat of the day was hearing that 702's little Sandhill buddy has been accepted at a zoo. We weren't quite sure what was going to happen to him; the poor species-confused creature that he now is. Because of this, we have to expose him to people. This means walking him sans costume, being able to talk to him, touch him, hand feed him. Lucky me, I got to do it first. This is all of our fantasies; being able to fondle one of our charges. They are just so darn cute! And this one has a very easy disposition, so he wasn't spooked in the least when I removed my hood for the first time (okay, okay, I've already heard it from everyone else!).

The second treat of the day was getting to walk 702 and 703 on their first socialization walk. It was truly fun. Little 703 tried as mightily as it could to be taller than 702 -a very comical sight. 702 is, surprisingly, the submissive of the two, in spite of the size advantage. There were no aggressive moves other than posturing, and peace reigned o'er the farm pond.

Lastly, at the end of the day, Dr. Glenn Olsen came into the prop building and asked for help with an assisted hatch. Since I was the only one around at that moment, I got drafted. My duty was to hold the egg as the good doctor slowly peeled the eggshell away and examined the contents to see if the yolk sack had been absorbed. It had, so Dr. Olsen removed more shell and gently pulled the chick out setting it in my hand. Welcome to the world 712!

It is quite something to be holding a freshly hatched, still wet chick in one’s hand. Are you familiar with the saying "Its not the breaths we take per moment, but the moments that take our breath away that makes life?” Well, my breath was definitely taken away by that. A handful of precious, dewy life with eyes blinking in the bright light of the dimly lit hatcher room was the perfect end to a wondrous day. What a lucky gal I am!

View the photos here in the 2007 Spring photo journal.

Date: May 8, 2007 - Entry 4 Reporter:

Bev Paulan

Subject:

Class of 2007 Stats

Location:

PWRC

I thought I would do a recap of what has been going on so far; sort of a mid-game review for those keeping score.

We currently have 10 chicks. One is the Sandhill crane training buddy of 702, and one (711) is a genetically valuable chick which will be held back for breeding. That leaves 8 for the ultralight program so far.

Chick by chick, here are the stats:

#

Egg From

Hatch

Weighed

Now Weighs

702

SAZ

4 / 18

122 grams

660 grams

703

CZ

4 / 29

150

278

704

PWRC

5 / 01

134

201

706

CZ

5 / 01

127

195

707

PWRC

5 / 02

116

136

708

FNMP

5 / 03

135

150

709

FNMP

5 / 05

132

120

710

PWRC

5 / 07

154

(100 grams = 3.53 ounces)

(Legend: SAZ = San Antonio Zoo; CZ = Calgary Zoo; PWRC = Patuxent Wildlife Research Center; FNMP = Florida Non-migratory Population; ICF = International Crane Foundation; ACRES = Audubon Center for Research of Endangered Species

If you noticed, 709 has actually lost weight since it hatched. This is perfectly normal and no cause for alarm. In fact, at two days old, this chick is actually eating and drinking completely on its own, which is slightly ahead of schedule, developmentally.

710 is a bit of a bruiser. It is the largest chick so far and, still in the ICU, is eating out of the bowl with very little coaxing. Usually, we still have to feed a chick while in the ICU and sometimes, even after it goes into the aviary.

Note: Hope to have our Class of 2007 Chick bio page posted before the end of the week. Watch for it on the Site Map.

Date: May 8, 2007 - Entry 3 Reporter:

Liz Condie

Subject:

Want a Button?

Location:

Main Office

I continually get teased because practically everything I wear either has the words 'Operation Migration' or OM's logo on it. And, on the few occasions I don some jewelry, inevitably it is either an OM pin or a Whooping crane pendant, etc. So, true to form, my newest 'adornment' is also OM/Whooping crane related. Here it is.

If you’d like an 'I       button' customized with a photo and the number of your favorite chick from the Class of 2007 click here to order. (Also available are buttons with the 'Certified Craniac' logo.)

Date: May 8, 2007 - Entry 2 Reporter:

Liz Condie

Subject:

International Migratory Bird Day – Saturday, May 12

Location:

Main Office

Now under the direction of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD) was created in 1993 to focus attention on one of the most important and spectacular events in the life of a migratory bird -- its journey between its summer and winter homes.

Held each year on the second Saturday in May, International Migratory Bird Day is celebrated in Canada, the U.S., Mexico and Central America through bird festivals, bird walks, and education programs. The theme for IMBD 2007 is Birds in a Changing Climate. Birds have long been indicators of environmental change, sounding the alarm about the impacts of pesticides, polluted water, and the loss of contiguous forest.

The reactions of birds to weather have long been noted. For hundreds of years, farmers have used the arrivals of migratory birds to make decisions about planting crops. Changes in the movements of some species is just one indicator of the warming of the Earth's atmosphere. Today, as the rate of warming increases, scientists are exploring how climate change will affect birds and how we can reduce our impact.

Come Join Us

Operation Migration will again be guests of Walt Disney World's ANIMAL KINGDOM in Orlando, Florida for International Migratory Bird Day. OM’s event booth and Joe’s ultralight will be on display in front of Rafiki's Planet Watch at Conservation Station. If you live nearby, or are visiting the area, be sure and stop by and see us, and enjoy all the wonders Animal Kingdom has to offer.

Date: May 8, 2007 - Entry 1 Reporter:

Liz Condie

Subject:

Eastern Migratory Population Update

Location:

Main Office

This update was compiled from data provided by Stacy Kerley (ICF), and Richard Urbanek (USF&WS). Thanks to Windway Aviation and pilot Tom Trester and to Glenn Klingler (USDA Forest Service) for tracking assistance.

In the highlights below, * = female; DAR = direct autumn release; NFT = non functional transmitter. Estimated size of the Eastern Migratory Population (EMP) is 57 individuals, 32 males and 25 females.

Necropsy
The remains of 615 which were found in Marion County, Florida on April 30 were sent to Dr. Marilyn Spalding at the University of Florida for necropsy. Dr. Spalding indicated that predating was not a probable cause of death, however the remains were too decomposed for a cause to be determined.

Missing - 3
- 202* was last recorded March 13 with her mate 101 as the pair entered southern Georgia on the first day of their spring migration.
- 524 was last observed February 16 in Levy County, Florida with his associate 523. It is suspected that 202* and 524 are both dead.
- A Whooping crane believed to be 415* (NFT) was last observed February 19th with a small number of Sandhills in Madison County, FL. No subsequent reports have been received, but Dr. Urbanek says he expects she is back in WI.

Michigan – 2
- 318 was observed May 7 foraging alone in Mason County around the same area used during previous years.
- DAR533* remained mainly in Oceana County early last week, but PTT readings at the end of the week indicated that she may have moved to southwestern Lower Michigan.
(A Whooping crane was reported in Clinton County April 30 and May 1, however, the banding combinations reported did not match any bird in the EMP.)

New York - 1
- 309* remained in Lewis County early in the week but by May 1 she had moved to roost in St. Lawrence County. May 2 she moved back to Lewis County and stayed for the remainder of the week.

Spring Migration
- 516 began migration from Marion County, FL between 21 and 29 April but no subsequent reports have been received.
- DAR627 arrived in Michigan May 3 or 4 while attempting to complete migration to Wisconsin. He encountered Lake Michigan and roosted in Oceana County on the 4th and 5th. His second roost location was in the same area used earlier by DAR533*.

Wisconsin – 52
- 509 arrived at the Necedah NWR on May 4. He began migration from Lake County, FL between 21 and 29 April.
- W601* remained in Columbia County during the week. She had apparently followed 510* and 511 there on  April 28. The latter pair did not remain in the area consistently, but while there no. W601* usually joined them.
- No nesting activity was confirmed during the week.

View the photo here in the 2007 Spring photo journal.

Date: May 7, 2007 - Entry 2 Reporter:

Liz Condie

Subject:

Another hatch

Location:

Main Office

A quick note from Bev let us know that 709 had hatched. Expect an update soon.

Date: May 7, 2007 - Entry 1 Reporter:

Liz Condie

Subject:

Mortality

Location:

Main Office

Dr. Richard Urbanek emailed this morning to advise that the remains of 523 were found in Levy County, FL last Friday. Richard said the bird had been dead for several weeks and  that the few decomposed remains were sent to Dr. Marilyn Spalding at the University of Florida for necropsy.

523 was last observed on March 13. He wintered at this site with 524 who has not been seen since February 16th and whose transmitter is nonfunctional. Urbanek said, "Mortality occurred by April 21st when 523’' radio signal was detected but he was not visible. Variations in radio signals during the interim made exact date of death undeterminable."

Thanks to Mary Barnwell (Southwest Florida Water Management District), Libby Stuart and Jim Blush (Florida Division of Forestry), and Jayde Roofe, Norberto Fernandez, and Jeannette Parker (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission) for recovery of the remains.

Date: May 5 2007 - Entry 1 Reporter:

Liz Condie

Subject:

Weekend Auction

Location:

Main Office

OM continues its eBay auctions this weekend with a collection of photos, art, and memorabilia. These items will all make great gifts for Mother's Day! Act fast - these auctions are only available over the weekend! To check out the latest auction items click OM's eBay auction.

Date: May 4, 2007 - Entry 2 Reporter:

Bev Paulan

Subject:

Chick News

Location:

PWRC

Busy, busy, busy day. Finally got to sit down at 5:30pm after arriving at 6:45am this morning - and that’s after a 45 minute commute. Ahhh, enough about me and on to the chicks.

Yesterday 707 hatched out, and later yesterday 708 joined the living. Both are absolutely adorable (of course!) and are already in their runs in the aviary. They didn't spend too long in the ICUs luckily. 707 is a slow eater and his feedings are being supplemented with being tube fed. This isn't alarming, just an extra boost to help him along. 702 also got some tube feedings early on and is now quite large and healthy.

708, on the other hand, is quite the good little eater. He’s what we term a ‘face eater’, meaning he puts his whole face into the bowl to take a bite. It is very funny to watch, but can be quite hazardous to his eyes. We always check the chicks' eyes after eating to make sure no stray piece of food in stuck. If it is, we rinse it out with some saline solution, just like a contact lens wearer would do.

Work continues on the White series pens to prep them for the chicks once they are older. Brooke continues to train 702; I am training the Sandhill. We started walking 703 today and Charlie Shafer introduced him to the trike, but without the engine running. Tomorrow, more of the same, but including mowing, too.

View the photos here in the 2007 Spring photo journal.

Date: May 4, 2007 - Entry 1 Reporter:

Liz Condie

Subject:

Quick Chick News

Location:

Main Office

After being examined by both Dr. Glenn Olsen and Dr. John French this morning, it was decided to euthanized number 705. The scoliosis of the neck was so severe that it prohibited the chick from walking. On a brighter note, we welcomed 707 and 708 to the world yesterday. Bev will be sending an update and photos later today.

Date: May 3, 2007 - Entry 1 Reporter:

Liz Condie

Subject:

By popular demand

Location:

Main Office

Now available - window decals. Thanks to the efforts of OM supporter Mary Durand of Indiana, you can advertise your support for OM and Whooping cranes with two new, clear window decals. At the moment our supply is limited so you might want to order yours quickly. Take a look.

Date: May 2, 2007 - Entry 4 Reporter:

Bev Paulan

Subject:

Chicks a-popping

Location:

PWRC

I feel like I'm trapped inside a Jiffy Pop container, and instead of corn, it's chicks that are popping. Another, 707, popped out this morning, and 708 is pipped and expected to hatch tonight or tomorrow.

The days are really flying now, with hourly feedings for 5 chicks, plus cleaning, walking, swimming, circle pen training (mine goes very well, thank you for asking!) and other sundry tasks. Thank goodness I don't have to do this all by myself! The PWRC crew are very hard working and dedicated people and I feel I have to be running with throttle wide open just to keep up with them. Luckily, they are also a patient sort and always have time to explain things. They are all, without exception, valued partners in this project.

Their personalities are starting to show, in spite of the young age of the chicks. 702 follows the trike like a champ doing anything we ask it to do, from forced marches, (due to excessive weight gain) to swimming back and forth across the little pool.

703 is an eagle-eye and can already pick up the tiniest morsel of food from the carpet. 704 is a cry-baby and gets distracted by the slightest noise. 706 has an appetite that is so voracious, it almost bit the beak off the puppet on the first feeding. I don’t know why it is amazing to me that each bird is so different; last year's crop were all unique. Obviously this year's will be, too.

I left out 705 for a reason. It is still suffering weakness due to a curved neck but is sitting up occasionally and is taking nourishment. We're not sure if it’s going to make it or not. 705 hatched out a day or two early, and like a human preemie, he needs constant attention and care.

Enough of a break, its feeding time again. (Like I said, hourly!)

View the photos here in the 2007 Spring photo journal.

Date: May 2, 2007 - Entry 3 Reporter:

Joe Duff

Subject:

From 15 to 500

Location:

Main Office

In the late 1940's there were only 15 Whooping cranes in the world. Now there are 500. That slow recovery took the dedication of many people, from the conservationists who educated the public, to the aviculturists who learned how to breed them in captivity. Each person who became passionate about these magnificent birds and dedicated their time and resources added another rung to the ladder of their recovery. One of those protectors of the species is Terry Kohler of Sheboygan, Wisconsin.

Mr Kohler is the patriarch of Windway Capital Corporation and North Sails. He and Mary Kohler have dedicated their many talents and resources to wildlife conservation.

The family was already advocates for Trumpeter swans and the many crane species supported by the International Crane Foundation (ICF) when Terry watched a interesting video. The documentary was of Bill Lishman flying his ultralight aircraft with a flock of Canada geese in the late 1980’s. This innovation mixed two of Terry's life long passions, wildlife and flying and captured his imagination. He called his friend George Archibald, co-founder of ICF, and George contacted Bill. The idea of teaching Whooping crane to migrate was hatched.

When the Whooping Crane Recovery Team selected Wisconsin as the reintroduction area there were three sites on the short list. The Kohlers provided two aircraft to fly the team over the three locations to better judge the habitat. Every year Windway provided the aircraft to pick up the chicks in Baltimore and deliver them to Necedah. Because of the age difference of the birds, three trips are needed each season, and when the final cohort arrives in Wisconsin this spring they will have made a total of 18 round trips.

The Kohler's also provide aircraft to help the WCEP Tracking Team monitor the birds that are now migrating on their own. While we are leading a new flock south they are tracking the progress of the older generations.

Twice when we crossed the Cumberland Ridge in Tennessee we had to call the Windway crew and the Tracking Team to help us out. To get over the ridge we have to force climb the birds to 2500 feet and we occasionally lose some in the process. As each pilot gets a few birds up to altitude, they cross the ridge and head for the next site. This leaves us spread out with the ultralights about 10 miles apart and no one left to deal with drop outs.

In 2004 I was the last to cross the ridge. Just before I cleared the trees two birds turned back. They eventually made it over the ridge on their own and were tracked south by Don and Paula Lounsbury in their top cover Cessna.

After encroaching on the restricted airspace around a Nuclear Power Plant and being buzzed by two F16's on manoeuvres, the Lounsburys broke off to refuel. As it turned out, the Windway aircraft and the Tracking Team were close by and within a few minutes had picked up the signal of the wayward birds. They circled overhead while our ground crew tracked them from below.

The problem was that the birds began to fly on the thermals that are generated by the mid morning sun. With that assistance they could soar all day without expending much energy as they wandered the skies looking for something familiar. We were twenty miles to the west dealing with the rest of the flock and all the Windway pilot could do was direct our ground crew.

The idea was to predict where the birds might fly and get the ground crew positioned in an open field. In full costume they could turn up the volume on the vocalizer that broadcasts the familiar crane calls and maybe attract the attention of the birds as they flew over.

Several attempts were made, but in their peregrinations, the birds would change course and the white costumes would go unseen. At one point the Windway pilot was sure the birds were going to pass over the town of Athens. He directed Dan Sprague and Jane Chandler to a baseball diamond in the middle of the village. Now, to fully appreciate this scene you have to imagine it from the perspective of the grounds keeper who was preparing the field for an upcoming game.

Picture it: a burgundy van emblazoned with Wisconsin DNR logos and bristling an array of tracking antennas comes screeching to a halt. Out jumps two people of unknown identity dressed head to toe in white baggy smocks. Without a word of explanation they charge to the center of the diamond carrying a bullhorn that bellows a deafening cross between the call of the wild and the pain of child birth. Once again the birds changed course and Dan and Jane jumped back into the van and sped away. They never did get a chance to return and explain themselves, and it’s my guess that the groundskeeper kept that little experience to himself.

The Windway crew followed the birds for another hour before they were finally able to direct the ground crew to an open field and the birds landed next to them. Once again Windway saved the day.

On May 9 2007, The Kohler's and the Windway Capital flight crew will travel to Washington DC to be recognized for their contribution to conservation.

US Secretary of the Interior, Dirk Kempthorne will award the Kohler’s with the Department of the Interior Cooperative Conservation Award. This is the highest honour the Dept of the Interior can bestow on a private citizen and it is richly deserved.

Congratulations to Terry, Mary and all their aircrew - and thank you.

Date: May 2, 2007 - Entry 2 Reporter:

Liz Condie

Subject:

Spring OM Gear

Location:

Main Office

If you haven't already had an opportunity to see the video piece filmed during the southern end of the 2006 migration, click here to view it.

Date: May 2, 2007 - Entry 1 Reporter:

Liz Condie

Subject:

Spring OM Gear

Location:

Main Office

With the advent of spring you will no doubt be packing away your favorite OM sweatshirt. So, to make sure you have OM gear to get you through the coming warm weather months, we have added a new collection of women’s brightly colored T-shirts, and cotton safari style shirts for men.

We also have new artwork available through an arrangement with AudubonOctavos.com. These excellent reproductions of Audubon's Whooping crane drawings are available framed or unframed in several different formats.

To check out all our new items new click here.

Date: May 1, 2007 - Entry 5 Reporter:

Bev Paulan

Subject:

Chick News

Location:

PWRC

As I am typing this, I am also watching 705 on a video monitor. When it hatched out last night, it not only had severely curved toes, but also a curved neck, which makes it lay on its side instead of on its stomach. Because of this curvature, it lacks strength to flip itself upright if it falls over, and then struggles. In fact, it was struggling so much this morning it suffered rug burns on its legs. So now we have it on sterile pads  which are smoother (instead of a rug) and are watching it closely to make sure it doesn't flop over and start struggling. Throughout the day, it gained strength and now is lying mostly upright.

Mondays are normally my day off, but yesterday I came to PWRC because our newest intern, Carl Wagle was arriving. When I showed up, I was greeted by the great news of 703 having hatched the night before, but then got the news I had been dreading for so long. I refused to believe that 615 had perished.

So many people had tried for so long to ensure this bird would survive, but alas, mother nature had other ideas. More tears, more frustration, but, equally, more determination as well. Each chick hatched is now all the more precious to me. Even though I am supposed to maintain ‘scientific detachment’, I can't help but become immediately attached to the little fuzz balls even when they are still wet from the egg. I couldn't remain detached if my life depended on it.

So, welcome to the world 703, 704, 705 and little 706, who went from pipped egg to hatched out in an hour. I promise I'll do my best to take care of you until we release you in Florida.

And, welcome, too, to Carl.  Thank you for giving up your life for three months to help out the Whoopers (and thanks to your wife for letting us have you!).

View the photos here in the 2007 Spring photo journal.

Date: May 1, 2007 - Entry 4 Reporter:

Liz Condie

Subject:

Chick News

Location:

Main Office

Four more chicks have hatched. 703 hatched on Sunday; 704 and 705 through the night last evening, and 706 hatched just before 8AM this morning. Once her work day is over Bev promises to send along an update and some photos.

Date: May 1, 2007 - Entry 3 Reporter:

Liz Condie

Subject:

Cool Video

Location:

Main Office

Craniac Mary Durand from Indiana brought a video available on the internet to our attention. It features migrating Whooping cranes from the Wood Buffalo-Aransas population. To watch the film clip click here.

Date: May 1, 2007 - Entry 2 Reporter:

Liz Condie

Subject:

Craniacs honored as Conservationists

Location:

Main Office

Way to go Abby Studnicka and daughters Nadia and Eve of Illinois! Over the past several months the trio have worked to create and sell 1,000+ origami cranes as a way of remembering the Class of 2006 and raising awareness for the plight of Whooping cranes.

They have not only exceeded their goal of raising $2500 for OM, they have now been recognized by the Illinois Audubon Society as Youth Conservationists of the Year. The Studnickas have been featured on the news, in print, and through the Audubon Society. Heartfelt thanks  and congratulations and on achieving their goal go to these creative and industrious Craniacs.

Date: May 1, 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). Thanks to Glenn Klingler (USDA Forest Service) for tracking assistance; Jeannette Parker (Florida FWCC) and Mary Barnwell (Southwest Florida Water Management District) for tracking assistance and recovery of 615; and to Tally Love, who completed her ICF tracking internship on April 28.

In the highlights below, * = female; DAR = direct autumn release; NFT = non functional transmitter. Estimated size of the Eastern Migratory Population (EMP) is 57 individuals, 32 males and 25 females.

Suspected Mortality
The weak radio signal of 523 was detected in Levy County, FL during aerial surveys April 21 and 29 but he was not visible. Mortality is suspected and a ground search is planned.

Missing - 3
202* was last recorded March 13 with her mate 101 as the pair entered southern Georgia on the first day of their spring migration.
524 was last observed February 16 in Levy County, Florida with his associate 523.
415* NFT believed to be last observed February 19 in Madison County, Florida.

Michigan - 2
318 was last reported in Oceana County April 13. DAR533* remained mainly Oceana County during the week.

New York - 1
PTT readings indicated that 309* remained in Lewis County.

Spring Migration - 3
DAR627 began migration from Lafayette County, FL on April 21 or 22 April. Subsequent roost locations included: Jasper County, GA, Campbell County, TN, Clermont County, Ohio, and Allen County, IN as of April 27/28.
509 was observed in Lake County, FL and  516 in Marion County, FL during an aerial survey April 21 but neither were present on April 29 and are presumed to be migrating.

Wisconsin – 51
No nesting activity was recorded during the week.

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