Mystery Whooper

** UPDATE – the ‘mystery’ crane is no longer a mystery. It is in fact female #8-14 according to a PTT hit just received. Scroll to the bottom of this post for a screengrab.

Yesterday afternoon – roughly 3pm Central time, a second Whooping crane flew in, seemingly from the south.

The male, 5-12 (aka Henry) had been calling and immediately walked out to the north end of the training site to investigate the new arrival.

I wish he would call the office to tell us the legband combination he saw so we could solve the mystery. The vegetation is pretty tall and the bands pretty small to get a positive ID but we (CraneCam viewers) think we saw Green/White on the left leg.

This would narrow the possibilities somewhat. It could even include females 1 & 2-15 in the range, but the crane that flew in is a full adult and the latter two don’t quite have their red crowns yet.

It MAY be female 8-14, who has been spending her summer about 50 miles south in Dane County, WI. She spent most of the previous summer at the same location – except for a few weeks when she ventured to Livingston County, IL.

Here’s a screengrab showing the two Whooping cranes in the marsh:

5-12 n friend

The mystery crane roosted in the same area last night so we’ll have eyes on he/she again this morning to see if we can determine just who this is…

If you’d like to watch what happened yesterday, here’s a link to the archived clip.

Check out the CraneCam if you’re curious to find out.

Here’s 8-14’s PTT hit:

The blue dot is a class 3 (good quality) hit placing her off the north end of the runway and right in front of the CraneCam at White River Marsh.

The blue dot is a class 3 (good quality) hit placing her off the north end of the runway and right in front of the CraneCam at White River Marsh.

Calling all Auction Items!

The 2016 Whooping Crane Festival is just around the corner, and with it comes one of OM’s most exciting fundraising campaigns, our annual auctions. We are pleased to announce that, like last year, the auctions will be held in both at the Festival AND online! At the Festival’s Friday night dinner we will feature a few super-special items, then have many more items available for fast and furious bidding at Saturday’s Festival. And because we know that not everyone can attend the Festival in Princeton, Wisconsin, we will conduct an online auction on our Facebook page.

How can you help make our auctions successful? I’m glad you asked! You can help in three ways. First, if you have an item you’d like to donate, we’d be thrilled to accept it. Second, you can help us by thinking of businesses who might be interested in making a donation. Lastly (and most importantly), you can BID BID BID when the auctions open! Read on for more details…

To donate an item, click here. Fill out the online form and click “Submit.” Then, just ship or mail your item to the Princeton Chamber of Commerce (The address is on the item donation form and below) who has graciously offered to receive and store all our items until the Whooping Crane Festival in September.

Once we have received your item, the auction committee will determine which auction it best suits, and it will be assigned accordingly. No single item will appear in multiple auctions, and the auction committee reserves the right to make this determination. For example, many of the items that are light weight and easily mailed will be assigned to the online auction. If it is heavy or bulky, it will be featured in one of the auctions held on Festival weekend so that it can travel home safely with the winning bidder.

If you come up with businesses that might be interested in making a donation, email the information to me at jbellemer(AT)operationmigration.org, including the name of the business, the address, and a brief description of what they do and/or what you think they might offer. I’ll then send a solicitation letter to the business explaining OM’s mission and the auctions.

Below are some FAQs that hopefully will answer your questions. If not, feel free to email me!

HOW DO I DONATE AN ITEM? Use our online form to tell us about your item and then ship it to the Princeton Chamber of Commerce at 104 E. Main St., Princeton, WI 54968.

CAN I DECIDE WHICH AUCTION I’D LIKE MY ITEM FEATURED IN? While we wish we could offer that option, it simply isn’t feasible due to the many items and the amount of work we have to do. The auction committee will decide which auction is best suited for your item in the best interest of OM.

CAN I SUGGEST AN OPENING BID FOR MY ITEM? The only opening bids that will be set are to cover postage costs for items that will be mailed to the winners. Otherwise, we can run afoul of IRS rules and regulations. (see next question/response)

WILL I RECEIVE A TAX DEDUCTION RECEIPT FROM OM? No, OM cannot issue tax receipts for goods donated without running into IRS rules about “fair market value”. The IRS states that to issue a tax-deductible receipt for a donated item “Fair Market Value” must be determined by obtaining three appraisals for each item. As you can imagine, this simply isn’t feasible.

WHAT IS THE CUTOFF DATE FOR SENDING IN MY ITEM? Our cutoff for receiving items is August 12th. This allows us enough time to inventory the items, determine which auction they go in, photograph them, and write descriptions. As you can imagine, we have a lot of work to do and cannot leave many items until the last minute. On a case-by-case basis we can make exceptions, such as if we make other arrangements for your item because it is being driven to Wisconsin. Other than that, August 12th!

WHEN ARE THE AUCTIONS? The Whooping Crane Festival will be held the weekend of September 10th, 2016. There will be a dinner on Friday night, 9/9, at which there will be a silent auction featuring a small number of items. On Saturday, at the all-day Festival, there will be a much larger silent auction. The online (Facebook) auction will open on 9/6 and close at noon on 9/25.

WHAT IF I DON’T USE FACEBOOK – CAN I STILL PARTICIPATE IN THE ONLINE AUCTION? Facebook is our best online venue as there are large numbers of supporters communicating regularly there. To bid on Facebook, you can either set up an account there temporarily, just for the auction, and then close it afterwards, or have a friend who DOES use Facebook submit your bids.

WHAT IF MY ITEM DOESN’T SELL AT ONE OF THE AUCTIONS? We have never had an “orphaned item” at prior auctions, but in that unlikely event, we will either hold onto it until next year, or we will donate the item to a worthy charitable organization in the Princeton, WI area.

Any other questions can be emailed to JBellemer(AT)operationmigration.org.

They’re Baaaaack…

A couple weeks ago we told you that the group of four ultralight cranes from last year had ventured 80 miles or so into Illinois and were spending time feeding at a flooded ag field.

The group consists of 6, 8, 10 & 11-15.

Cellular hits received late yesterday for two of the group indicate they are back in neighboring Winnebago County, Wisconsin. We’re assuming the group is still intact but eagerly await confirmation.

They’re only ~25 miles from White River Marsh so we’ll have to keep all eyes on the CraneCam to see if they stop in for a visit!

Here’s a Google Earth grab showing what their May travels look like:

4group

Elsewhere – number 2-15 has finally left Door County and has found a lovely wetland in Waukesha County, and number 1-15 is in a great location in Rock County, Wisconsin.

Part 3 – The Capture

Capture: Part Three

“Great!” Marianne replied into the phone.  We HAD our Capture Permit and it was “high five” smiles all around.  Now, all we had to do was catch the little boogers. But first there was another important call to answer. It was Nature’s and she just hates “Call Waiting.” Who doesn’t? So it was off to town for a potty break.  Next time I go on one of these expeditions, I’m towing a Porta Potty with a pen attached to its sides. Not only would it kill two birds with one stone, (Gosh! Did I really say that!”), it would provide seating for an additional crew member. “Buckle Up!”

The waitress at the coffee shop was the same one who waited on us the night before at a different restaurant in a different town.  There goes that “Twilight Zone” theme again. But it’s like that in small towns. Everyone does what they have to do. “Have any luck catching those cranes?” she asked. “Oh, those are the crane people you were telling me about,” the other waitress asked her.  Word does get around.

But potty breaks, or coffee breaks as they are sometimes called, are good opportunities for folks to get to know each other and catch up. I have known Marianne since I first began working on this project. Asking someone how long they have been working for ICF is like asking a woman her age. So, since I have to work with her for the rest of this story, I’ll just say she’s been at ICF between 20 and 30 years.  Marianne is married to Robert Doyle who works at Patuxent. They met and married while working on this project.  “With this crane, I thee wed.” It’s that connection thing again, as I well know.  She has been in charge of the DAR Project since it began in Necedah back in 2005 and is without a doubt one of the most knowledgeable crane people on the project.

And the last time I saw Hillary, it was at night in the marsh down at St Marks. I was coming out after locating our chicks that had unceremoniously flown out of the pen just as the world went dark when I came upon her and her fellow Clemson University graduate student, Sloan. Now, running into someone else in the out in the middle of nowhere marsh at night is like accidentally bumping into Big Foot. It’s not an experience you soon forget. They were in the area tracking WCEP birds from previous years as part of their Master’s Thesis.  She had been at ICF for two years prior to the two years of graduate school and had just returned to a full time position a few short weeks before. It was great to see her again… during the day.

It was the first time I’d worked with Andy, except for a brief banding session some years back. He has been at ICF nine years. He met his wife there, if I remember right. She went on to the University of Wisconsin and received her PhD. They have two young children, the youngest of whom was going to turn three the following Monday, but the Birthday Party was this coming Saturday, which meant we had better hurry up and catch those birds. Otherwise, the birds were going to be attending the party… as the main course!

From left: Andy Gossens, Hillary Thompson and Marianne Wellington-Doyle.

From left: Andy Gossens, Hillary Thompson and Marianne Wellington.

And so, for the rest of the day, we patiently worked our magic on the birds while they did the same to us.  The gusty, high winds and thick gray overcast plotted to dampen the spirit of our effort and increase the reluctance of the birds to cooperate.  The wind set the pen top netting to dancing and fueled their suspicion and reluctance to enter the pen. We were resigned to the fact that it was just going to take time.

But it was time well spent and in a way I would not have expected.  We were blessed with the wonderful opportunity to get to know the neighbors… and their dogs.  We became part of the daily ebb and flow of neighborhood activities as the residents stopped by to chat.  And little by little, I had the feeling that our capture team was growing. They were interested in and accepting of not only our efforts but of us, and soon I sensed we were becoming more than just in their community but part of it, if only temporarily. This little rural stretch of road was fast becoming a very special place at a very special time.

“Do you want to see the picture I took of the feral cow in my back yard?” Lloyd’s wife asked. It was like asking us if we’d like to see a picture of the Lock Ness Monster. “Sure would,” we answered.  She held up her smart phone and there it was… the feral cow. “Wow!” I said. “It really exists.” She looked at me, smiling good naturedly and the thought balloon lifted up above her head. “Of course it exists, Crane Boy!  Didn’t you believe me? Who would lie about a feral cow, anyway?” She had a point.

Then Mike pulled up in his truck to see how things were going. “I used to raise pigeons years ago”, he said. “Then I graduated to parrots.  I had a great time with them.” Mike was a retired injection molding machine operator and had been a Marine in Viet Nam. I had no doubt if we had handed him a costume and said, “Here. Put this on and come out and help us,” he would have been suited up and down at the pen before we even got our hoods on.  Whooping cranes are nothing, if not enthusiasm generators. We work very hard to insure they are part of our world, while they effortlessly make us want to be a part of theirs.

And so, for the rest of the day we continued our “Just come little bit closer… PLEASE” sessions and were encouraged at our slow but sure progress. I must admit my patience was, at times, truly tried when I was almost within grasp of one of them.  Just one quick lunge and desperate grasp and maybe we would have at least something on the score board. Fortunately, I was continually reminded by that voice of my invisible friend who always insists on coming with me on these trips. “Just remember,” Captain Crane Man.  White suited men can’t jump!” He was right. But some of us can do a mean HOP.

I got lost returning to the motel, so by the time arrived, the night manager was behind the counter. “Are you one of those bird people?” she asked. “I hope to be.” I answered.  Then she continued, “I had a pet rooster for about a year when I worked in Tennessee.  He lived up on the roof of the mobile home I was renting. And every morning when I got home from work, there he’d be, standing by the door waiting. I’d invite him in and have something to eat and drink. Then he’d go back out the door and back up onto the roof.  Funny thing was, he got kind of posssesive and didn’t like any of my friends coming to the house.  He’d start screaming and hollering and actually attack them if they didn’t get inside fast enough.  Do your birds act like that?” I laughed and shook my head, “Not that I know of.”  I asked her directions to the nearest hospital, just in case, and headed upstairs to my room.

Tomorrow would be another day and with any luck at all, it would be THE day.

Aerial Survey Results

Wisconsin DNR pilot Bev Paulan flew a survey Tuesday and found the following:

Chicks seen:

12-02/4-11 with W3-16 Juneau County, WI (photo below)
12/5-11 with W4-16 Juneau County, WI (photo below)
3/7-11 with W5-16 Juneau County, WI (photo below)

Could not locate 9-05/13-03 🙁

Pairs on nests:

7-07/39-07 Juneau County, WI
14-08/24-08 Juneau County, WI
15-09/11-02 Juneau County, WI
25-09/2-04 Juneau County, WI
W1-06/1-10 Juneau County, WI
27-06/26-09 Juneau County, WI
3-04/9-03 Juneau County, WI
4-08/34-09 Juneau County, WI
18-09/23-10 Juneau County, WI
18-03/36-09 Juneau County, WI
29-09/12-03 Juneau County, WI
16-02/16-07 Juneau County, WI
1-04/8-05 Juneau County, WI
10-10/41-09 Juneau County, WI

Other pairs seen:

5-10/28-08 Marathon County, WI (off nest)
6-11/15-11 Wood County, WI
8-10/32-09 Juneau County, WI
38-09 with unknown bird Juneau County, WI
24-09/42-09 Adams County, WI (off nest)
19-11/17-11 Juneau County, WI (off nest)
20-14/11-09 Juneau County, WI
18-02/13-02 Juneau County, WI
19-14/29-08 Juneau County, WI

Dad #12-02 and Mom 4-11 with their young Whooping crane chick.

Dad #12-02 and Mom 4-11 with their three week old Whooping crane chick #W3-16. Photo: Bev Paulan

Mom 12-11 and her young crane chick

Mom 12-11 and her young crane chick #W4-16. Photo: Bev Paulan

Mom 7-11 & Dad 3-11 with chick #W5-16. Photo: Bev Paulan

Mom 7-11 & Dad 3-11 with chick #W5-16. Photo: Bev Paulan

Female 25-09 with her two eggs. Photo: Bev Paulan

Female 25-09 with her two eggs. Photo: Bev Paulan

29_09 12_03_1

Dad 29-09 and Mom 12-3 switch incubation duties. Photo: Bev Paulan

36_09 18_03_1

Mom 36-09 and Dad 18-03 also switch duties incubating their two eggs. Photo: Bev Paulan

Another Hatch!

We have just learned that male #1-11 and his mate #59-13 (Latka) have successfully hatched a chick in St. Croix County, WI.

Regular readers will recall two days ago we reported “Bev was also able to check on the new pair consisting of male 1-11 and 59-13 (Latka) in St. Croix County, WI. We received word this pair was incubating on April 8 and When Bev flew over them Thursday, April 12 they were still sitting. It appears the egg(s) are infertile as they are well beyond the typical 29-31 day period.”

It turns out there was indeed a chick, which was likely brooding at the time of Bev’s flyover.

59-13 on the nest platform with her cinnamon chick to her right. Photo: Chris Trogen

59-13 on the nest platform with her cinnamon chick to her right. Photo: Chris Trogen

Special thanks to the local USFWS Wetland Management District for sharing this news and keeping a watch over the new family.

I Found a Baby Bird…

Now What – you’re likely asking yourself.

First, determine if it is a nesting or a fledgling. A nestling will have no feathers and is basically helpless. A fledgling will be feathered and mobile (walking, hopping and perhaps some flight capabilities).

Nestlings will need to be returned to the nest if at all possible. Contrary to popular belief, handling the tiny chick to place it back into a nest will not cause the parents to abandon it.

In the case of a fledgling, the parents are most likely nearby and you should return it to the location you found it.

In most cases, these birds do not need our help and intervening can make the situation worse.

Read these tips from All About Birds so you’re prepared this nesting season!

Foursome Photos

As we mentioned last week a foursome of ’15 cranes backtracked from Wisconsin and has been spending time at a flooded ag field in LaSalle County, IL since then.

As a refresher – this group consists of Whooping cranes 6-15, 8-15, 10-15 & 11-15.

Steve Patterson shared a few of the photos he captured yesterday with his full-frame, mega-zoom camera and we thought you’d enjoy.

Female Whooping crane 8-15.

Female Whooping crane 8-15.

On the wing...

On the wing…

On the right is the lone male from the group, #11-15.

On the right is the lone male from the group, #11-15.

Thanks for sharing Steve!

Aerial Survey Results

Wisconsin DNR’s Bev Paulan was able to squeeze in a flight last Thursday over the core reintroduction area.

In total she found four wild hatched Whooping crane chicks and eighteen nests/re-nests. She was also able to check on the pair consisting of male 1-11 and 59-13 (Latka) in St. Croix County, WI. We received word this pair was incubating on April 8 and When Bev flew over them Thursday, April 12 they were still sitting. It appears the egg(s) are infertile as they are well beyond the typical 29-31 day period.

The chicks Bev spotted are listed below:

12-02/4-11 Wood county – 1 chick

3-11/7-11 Adams County – 1 chick (photo below)

5-11/12-11 Juneau County – 1 chick (photo below)

13-03/9-05 NNWR (Juneau County) – 1 chick (photo below. Apparently, their second chick has been lost)

Mom (7-11) & Dad (3-11) provision for their small crane chick.

Mom (7-11) & Dad (3-11) provision for their small crane chick.

Mom #12-11 with ~10 day old chick.

Mom #12-11 with ~10 day old chick.

Dad (9-05) watches over his youngster.

Dad (9-05) watches over his youngster.

Very special thanks to Bev Paulan for providing us with the above information and great photos!

The Capture: Part Two

“They’re heeeeere!” Flambo said to Corky. “Wonder what took them so long”, Corky replied. “I told you we should have taken a left instead of a right back there at the bottom of Lake Michigan,” Mendota scolded. “Just remember the first rule when riding on the New York subway…. DON’T make eye contact!” Druid commanded.

“Wow!” I whispered to myself as we reached the end of the path and into view of the birds.

DSCF5994

“How Big and White they are!”  Whoopers have a way of “Wowing” you no matter how much time you spend around them. Then back to reality, I held my breath fearing that just a single exhale would frighten them skyward and forever away. But they simply stood as still as if in a picture and appeared to be looking at something in the far distance only they could see. “I can’t believe they’re not looking at us!”  I whispered to Marianne. “They’re looking at us alright,” she replied, shaking her head. “They’re just doing their whooper chick thing.” The scene took on the tentative air of a “boys on one side of the gym, girls on the other” Junior High School dance. But finally the four chicks gave us the pleasure of their gaze and began walking haltingly towards us, curious but uncertain. It was certainly not the tears, bear hugs and wet kisses reunion I was hoping for, but it was a start.

They allowed us just so close but no closer as Corky asked in a thought balloon, “And what, may we ask, brought you folks to our little neighborhood?” We thought back, “We were just in the area and thought we’d stop in to say Hi.” Then they eyeballed the pen with more suspicion than a couple of newlyweds standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon who suddenly remembered the Life Insurance Policy they’d taken out on each other the day before they left on their honeymoon. “What kind of camper is that, anyway?” Flambo asked.  “You got me,” Corky replied, “but it sure don’t look like a Days Inn”!

It wasn’t hard to see this capture was going to be no walk in the park…. or into the pen. Rather, it was going to be a battle of trust vs. distrust, the diabolical and ruthless conniving of the costume people against the natural whooper distrust of all things human. To win, we would have to coax all four birds into the pen at one time. Doing the “Dirty” to just one or two or even three would almost certainly send the fourth away forever, and in this all or nothing game, close only counts in horse shoes and hand grenades. We had just one chance and one chance only to catch them all and if we blew it, it was going to be a long, sad, humiliating ride home for the Visiting Team. Our strategy was therefore clear and simple. We must establish trust, then betray that trust. And that surprises you?  Why? That’s been the Modus Operandi of us humans since we crawled out of the primordial ooze. “Ladies and Gentlemen… Place your bets and Let the Games Begin!”

DSCF5997

However, the bell had already rung for the end of Round One as darkness was fast approaching. Even if we were lucky enough to coax them into the pen tonight, we were still awaiting a government Capture Permit and possibly Health Certificates which would hopefully arrive the next morning. And leaving them to stress out and rake their beaks on the sides of the pen all night was not an option. So we put our time to good use sizing up our opponents, being “Up Close and Personal”, while plying them with time tested opening lines like “What’s a nice whooper like you doing in a place like Michigan instead of Wisconsin?” and “What’s your favorite color besides white…. and “When was the last time you had your compass calibrated?” Then off we went for meals and a motel with a sign that said, “Free breakfast from 6-10.”  I could hardly sleep in anticipation…for the free breakfast, I mean.

Next morning began with a great big free “swallow a tasteless brick and wash it down with sawdust” motel breakfast. Then off to the site I headed when I suddenly remembered what it said on the first page of that big yellow book, “The Human Condition for Dummies.” It explained that each of us is the sum total of all the decisions we have made in our lives. That made my first decision of the day an especially important one. Should I proceed to the site where the birds were or should I drive to the local Emergency Room and have my stomach pumped! A hard swallow and a butt wiggle of uncertainty later, I headed for the birds as the ICF crew headed to the grocery store for bird treats.

I had just turned on to the pond road when a white pickup pulled up alongside and stopped. “They just left,” Steve said. “Looks like they were headed over to a nearby ag field.” Steve lived down the road and was an avid birder. “I keep a pair of binoculars in my car, another in my truck and another on my motorcycle.” He went on to tell me his daughter was finishing up her degree in Wildlife Biology at Michigan State University and had banded over 3000 birds last year. “She’d love to talk to you folks, but she’s in the middle of her finals.”

I turned on the tracking receiver as I neared the site. It was quiet… the kind of quiet that is so loud you can hardly stand the noise. Have they left the area? Did we miss our chance at capture? I madly began looking in the back seat for the novelty shop nose, eyeglasses and eyebrows disguise I brought along to wear back to Wisconsin just in case we failed to catch the birds. That’s when I began to hear the wonderful sound of those beeps over the pounding of my heart…. faint at first, then louder and louder until the four magnificent white spots made their final approach for landing. And that’s how you spell “RELIEF”!

About then, Marianne, Hillary and Andy arrived and we suited up for Round Two of the main event. The chicks seemed to be more comfortable with us but we still had a ways to go. This was clearly going to take some time… and patience. Lots of patience! But it was great fun just watching the chicks. They had such different personalities! One would think I would have had lots of time to just watch the birds during my years on the UL Project. But my time around the birds was mostly during training or while busy doing chores. In fact, the only time we really had to just hang out with them was when we were “hiding them” while the training runways were being mowed or during migration when we would skip a stop and have to hide them while the pen was being set up. This morning was pure pleasure!

Marianne began the introductions. “Each year we name our birds based on a theme.  Last year it was lakes in Wisconsin. So this one here is Corky. He’s the big male. He always picks on little Druid. That one is Flambo who is pretty easy going. Then there’s Mendota, the sometimes cranky female who also picks on Druid. And that independent one over there is Druid, the small female.” It has always amazed me at how important a name is to the connection process. I learned this long ago when I first started working with swans.  However, it has never been OM’s policy to name the birds. That’s why I have always secretly done it. Not to name the birds was a luxury I could never afford and it always made me laugh at the end of each season when other members of the crew would admit to naming them also. These four names provided me with the short cut I needed to quicken the process of connection. As Mother Teresa used to say, the better you know your opponents, the better your chances of winning. “Looks like Corky and Mendota are going to make it hard to get Druid in the pen,” I whispered to Marianne.  “You got it,” she answered.

After a while, we observed that the birds were becoming bored with us… or with me, at least. The novelty of our presence was wearing off as they wandered away to explore other areas of the property.  We decided our best course of action was to build their trust and enthusiasm by hitting the ON/OFF switch of our visits throughout the day in the hope that each visit would bring us closer to winning their confidence and springing the trap.

“Remember the last time we had to catch a bird?” Marianne asked on the way back to the road. “I sure do.” I replied.  It was on a very stormy night in 2007 when we caught whooper 5-01 at the Homosassa Springs State Wildlife Park. Now, one might think that catching a bird in a zoo is as easy as catching a criminal in a prison, but things are not always as they seem. Our little avian version of “Romeo and Juliet” was a bit more complicated. You see, whooper 5-01 had lost his mate to predation and one day just happened to be flying over the Homosassa Springs State Wildlife Park when he looked down and saw the whoopette of his dreams, Peepers. Peepers was a zoo resident in the process of being introduced to a new suiter from Patuxent, Rocky. Rocky had experienced a throat injury earlier in life and could not vocalize, which stunted his appeal. 5-01 had no such affliction. It was love at first flight.

What followed was the story of a bird willingly giving up his freedom for love. He flew into the zoo four times over a period or two, or was it three years. And each time he was captured and forcibly relocated, only to return later. What Hollywood or Disney could have done with this story!  Kind of makes you want to reach for the Pepto-Bismol instead of the popcorn.

Anyway, the story ended happily. 5-01 was finally permitted to stay in the zoo with Peepers. He was even given a name… Levi. Poor Rocky was shipped off to the National Zoo in Washington where he was scheduled to begin filming the sequel, “Rocky 2”. He was, in fact, last observed wooing a Panda bear, which prompted one of the zookeepers to inquire, “When do we start construction on that “WhooPan Exhibit”?” At least we know he wasn’t going to be singing the National Anthem.

Then, just as we reached the road, Marianne’s phone rang.  She frowned, staring hard at the phone.  “It’s about the Capture Permit.  Keep your fingers crossed.”  “Hello”? she answered.

…to be continued.

International Migratory Bird Day

Migratory_Bird_Centennial_LogoThis year is the centennial of the Migratory Bird Treaty signed on Aug. 16, 1916. International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD) is typically recognized on the second Saturday of May – tomorrow!

Through many events held throughout the Americas, IMBD celebrations will explore how birds have inspired some of the most significant environmental conservation actions. For generations, migratory birds have connected communities across continents, providing unique opportunities for international collaboration and inspiring people to improve conditions for birds, all wildlife, and for ourselves.

Head out tomorrow in your area to watch birds. Let us know in the comments section how many species you saw!

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