Nest Predation – More details

We’ve been able to learn a couple of things since the nest belonging to whooping cranes 3-14 & 4-12 was predated Monday evening.

Brooke slogged through the marsh very early yesterday morning to locate the nest and collect anything he could. His hope was to get in and back out before the pair returned… IF they returned.

Firstly, there were two eggs and it was evident both were viable. Egg fragments were collected.

Secondly, the nest is surrounded by water. Here’s a photo showing the nest and surrounding area.

Nest with egg shell fragments. Photo: Brooke Pennypacker

The other important thing we’ve been able to determine is the identification of the interloper whooper. It was indeed male #4-14 (Peanut). Hours spent yesterday staring at video leading up to the arrival of the coyote revealed his legband combination of left leg: white/red/white and right: red/green. 

Peanut (#4-14) on the right being chased away by cranes 3-14 & 4-12. Source: screengrab from the CraneCam

Did he ever pick the most inopportune moment to drop in…

The pair did in fact return yesterday – in fact, just as Brooke reached dry ground, they flew in. A number of folks have asked if a re-nest is possible and it’s early enough in the season that they is a possibility. Time will tell… 

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  1. Diane Lowe May 11, 2017 3:28 pm

    Thank you for sharing this information.

  2. Barb May 10, 2017 11:51 am

    It is good news indeed that the three adults are safe. Perhaps the Royal Couple will try again this year. Would they use the use same nest? Do Whooping Cranes use the same nest year after year? Or do they just come to the same area and build a new one each year? Would another couple use a vacant neat?

    Thanks for your vigilance and dedication.

  3. Mindy May 10, 2017 11:23 am

    Ahhh Peanut….we love you buddy but ya don’t mess with nesting birds! I am so saddened to learn that the eggs were viable and we lost two precious chicks before they even had a chance to start in life. Sigh….

  4. Marilyn May 10, 2017 11:09 am

    you people are amazing – the dedication, incredible. I love you. I was so happy to know Peanut is ok. Thank you!

  5. Richard P. Chase May 10, 2017 10:22 am

    Thanks Brooke, your dedication definitely answered questions that could only have been assumptions.

    I’ll be the first to post a “Whooping Hope” for a re-nest.

  6. Mollie Cook May 10, 2017 9:46 am

    Thank you for sharing more information. Sad loss but also such valuable information. Glad to hear Peanut is officially back & I hope he stays. Thanks OM for all the tough jobs you have to do.

  7. Dana Courtney May 10, 2017 9:43 am

    I know this is nature – and so hard to hear. Thank you for being on the front lines and allowing yourselves to be with the pain and joy.