Aerial Survey Results

Wisconsin DNR pilot Michael Callahan flew over the Wisconsin Rectangle reintroduction area five days ago and spotted a total of thirteen Whooping cranes.

Ten are located in Marquette and Green Lake Counties, including the White River Marsh State Wildlife area, while one is a bit further south in Dane County and two were found in Dodge County at the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge.

The following images were captured by Michael during his survey.

WC 2015-09-24 5-12_9_10-14

Pictured are male #5-12 along with sub-adult females 9-14 & 10-14 at White River Marsh SWA.

WC 2015-09-24 18-11

Male Whooping crane #18-11 at Horicon Marsh NWR in Dodge County, WI.

WC 2015-09-24 16-11

Also at Horicon Marsh NWR is male #16-11.

WC 2015-09-24 10-11

Male #10-11 in Marquette County, WI.

WC 2015-09-24 8-14

Female Whooping crane #8-14 is in Dane County, WI.

WC 2015-09-24 4-14

True to form, Peanut – the sub-adult male #4-14 was found along the White River next to a small island. Readers may recall he was retrieved from the Wabash Island in the Ohio River in early May of this year.

WC 2015-09-24 4-12_3-14

Male #4-12 and female #3-14 were located at the north end of White River Marsh SWA.

WC 2015-09-24 4_9-13_7-14

A few miles to the west in Marquette County, WI, Whooping cranes 4-13, 9-13 & 7-14 were located near Germania Marsh SWA.

And a bonus photo captured this morning by OM volunteer Tom Schultz showing #4-14 (Peanut) due north of our camp. (Thanks Tom!)

Sub-adult male Whooping crane 4-14. Photo: Tom Schultz

Sub-adult male Whooping crane 4-14. Photo: Tom Schultz

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  1. vannie Zychowicz October 6, 2015 10:30 am

    This is vantasit news for the whooper cranes wear they are sided


  2. Annelise Jorgensen September 29, 2015 5:03 pm

    Any news regarding the whereabouts of the two 2015 wild-hatched WCs in the eastern flock?

  3. Mindy September 29, 2015 11:39 am

    Any thoughts about giving Peanut and 9-14 PTTs now that their legs are long enough and they are big?

    • Heather Ray September 29, 2015 1:02 pm

      9-14 already has a PTT device. As for 4-14, no. Tracking is concentrated on first year cranes and capturing and placing a transmitter on him can be very stressful and could lead to capture myopathy. Additionally, each device has a significant cost associated with it for the actual unit ($3k), as well as data aquisition costs.

  4. Maggie Turk September 29, 2015 9:37 am

    Are 16-11 or 18-11 the partner in the odd couple that paired with the sandhill crane this spring? Had the pleasure of seeing them earlier on the marsh and they certainly were the odd couple.. I have seen one of these cranes flying near Waupun. What a beautiful sight to see just how large a bird they are. Thanks om for all the work you do to keep us informed from time to time.

    • Heather Ray September 29, 2015 10:35 am

      Yes Maggie, 16-11 is the DAR crane, which has formed a bond with a Sandhill and produced a hybrid chick this past spring.

  5. Richard P. Chase September 29, 2015 6:52 am

    Yay, Peanut is a rock star 😉

  6. Jillbru September 29, 2015 6:45 am

    Hot dog, they found Peanut!