… to White River Marsh!
We received a PTT hit Tuesday evening indicating female 3-14 was back at the marsh. Curious to learn whether male 4-12 and Parent Reared crane number 30-16 were also with her, Brooke sent an email to Tom Schultz.
Shortly after, Tom responded with “I didn’t have strong expectations of seeing the birds, since I knew that they often hung out deep in the marsh, but I was still hopeful.
Well, the good news is that I was able to spot them – standing among cattails, perhaps 200 yards off the road. I parked and got out to attempt to get photos, even though they were well hidden in the vegetation, and it was difficult for the my camera to find the right focal distance.
Then, after only about 20-30 seconds they suddenly took flight. I tried to grab a few shots as they flew (see attached), but at that point I sure wished that I had set my camera to rapid-fire mode. Perhaps you can tell who they are from the photos, even though the view of the bands isn’t great – but I suspect that they were “The Royal Couple”. Unfortunately there were only two of them there, so perhaps 30-16 is no longer with them?”
Young 30-16 was the only crane to not receive a remote tracking device last fall when he was released. He does, however, have a VHF radio so Doug Pellerin will be listening for his beeps on a tracking excursion this week. We’ll let you know when/where he turns up (the young crane – not Doug).
We know 30-16 wintered in south Georgia with this pair and it’s typical for adults to chase off youngsters when breeding season rolls around so hopefully, he’s just been chased away and is still in the area.
In the meantime, enjoy a couple of photos captured by Tom Schultz yesterday morning!