Nesting Season Underway

Our partners at Necedah National Wildlife Refuge report a total of 52 whooping cranes have been detected on the Refuge. Several pairs have been observed unison calling, foraging, preening, and displaying territorial behavior (i.e. chasing sandhills). Weather on the refuge has been moderate with large amounts of rain. Although we do not expect any nests have been lost, the water level in several pools with nesting cranes has rapidly increased.

12 whooping crane pairs have been observed incubating.

* UPDATE – During Bev Paulan’s aerial survey yesterday she counted 20 incubating cranes.

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  1. Karen Anne April 18, 2015 4:10 pm

    I’ve lost track of the blackfly situation? Are the whoopers on their own in regards to that? If so, what a shame, twenty nests in jeopardy.

  2. Adrienne Ktulin April 15, 2015 1:24 pm

    20 nests is incredible!! It’s a shame that they will likely abandon their nests when the blackflies hatch. I do hope that their precious eggs can be salvaged in time.

    As for the 5 youngsters in southern Illinois; do you really expect them to continue to migrate north having not experience of this part of the route? I do not understand why they would be expected to keep going north.

  3. Sue McCurdy April 15, 2015 1:04 pm

    Hooray for the Whoopers. They’re going to make lots of little Whoopers. Thanks OM team for all you do.

  4. Dora Giles April 15, 2015 10:20 am

    Great news on nesting pairs. I know we need more to be substainable, but each one is an improvement. Thanks Bev for the updates. They are greatly appreciated along with any photos you can get. But most importantly, stay safe while flying.


  5. Dorothy N April 15, 2015 9:48 am

    is the number of currently being incubated nests the usual number for this time of year, or is it high? Seems like a good number to me, but I have nothing to compare it to.

  6. ffmn April 15, 2015 8:27 am

    Still perplexed why the youngsters of five didn’t go with 5-12? Can they simply stay where they are ?

    • Heather Ray April 15, 2015 8:35 am

      The weather in the area where they are hasn’t been ideal since they arrived. As for why they didn’t continue with 5-12, he’s not a very dominant bird and quite often the youngsters would chase him away over the winter.