Between their ability to travel enormous distances quickly, the limitations radio transmitters (some non-functional), and only a very few birds in the Eastern Migratory Population fitted with GPS enabled devices, it can be somewhat of a challenge to keep track and know the whereabouts of WCEP’s Whooping cranes.
It is for this reason that the public is urged to report their sightings, and, to report them as promptly as possible.
One such report came in the other day from Doug McCoy of Burnside, KY. Mr. McCoy was visiting the Hiawassee Refuge in Tennessee when he spotted a lone white bird among a throng of grey ones. He sent a photo to confirm his sighting and the banding on the Whooper identified it as 16-11. The crane’s previously known location was in Indiana in January.
When we contacted Doug for permission to reproduce his photo here, he told us he’d been following our Field Journal for the past couple of years.
He obviously follows the Whooping cranes themselves too as he shared a photo of the Class of 2011 that he captured last February as they wintered at the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge in Alabama. Thanks Doug!