Finding Whoopers

One of the things I’ve come to realize over the years is that whooping cranes have this incredible ability to locate others of their kind. Sure, they’re big and really loud and stark white, which makes them stick out on the landscape but when you consider the vastness of the geographical area they cover in their twice-a-year journeys… Well, I think it’s pretty amazing.

I came across another instance of this yesterday morning. Take a look at the following Google Earth screengrab. 

The multiple red dots represent #71-16 and the two blue dots are for #2-15.

The location is a field in somewhere, Indiana. (We do not divulge the exact location of whooping cranes). The multiple red dots are hits from the GSM remote tracking device worn by Parent Reared whooping crane #71-16. The two blue dots are from the PTT satellite device worn by female whooper #2-15.

These two cranes weren’t raised together. In fact, one is a year older. They’ve never met until they both decided to select the exact same field on their northward trip back to Wisconsin. How cool is that?!

To add to the cool factor, consider this: Another female whooper, #14-15 is located only 4 miles from this field.

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8 Comments

  1. aintthatamerica March 3, 2017 4:46 am

    One is a 15 and one is a 16 but you say they are 2 years apart? hmmmmm. Is 71-16 male or female?

    • Heather Ray March 3, 2017 6:16 am

      Math was never my favorite subject… 71-16 is a female.

  2. Catherine Wohlfeil March 2, 2017 10:30 pm

    Cool! Still think they follow each others’ scent! What else could it be… tiny GPS units… maybe they text each other… : )

    • Heather Ray March 3, 2017 6:17 am

      Cranes cannot smell 🙂

  3. Barb March 2, 2017 2:56 pm

    How are our Whoppers doing wit all the tornadoes that seem to be in their flyways?

  4. Mollie Cook March 2, 2017 1:44 pm

    Hard to beat that scenario!!!!! Yes, our Whoopers are pretty darn amazing……….and awesome. Thanks Heather.

  5. Libby March 2, 2017 1:35 pm

    Very cool!

  6. Mindy March 2, 2017 11:31 am

    That IS cool!