What are the Odds?

Those of you whom have followed our work over the years have no doubt heard us mention Lou and Linda Cambier.

These two incredible people were our Winnebago County, IL migration hosts for a number of years and opened their home and their hearts for countless days each year. They provided meals and camaraderie for the crew and a safe and secure location for dozens of Whooping cranes over the years.

Lou is a pilot and is the one that flew from his home in Illinois to Kentucky in the spring of 2015 so that Joe and I could get a higher vantage point from which to locate Whooping cranes 3-14 and 4-14 and ultimately return them both to White River Marsh, where they still both spend their spring through fall seasons.

This past spring Lou has been checking on yearling parent reared whooping crane number 31-16 who it seems has decided to short stop in Stephenson County, IL. As time permits, Lou flies or drives approximately 30 miles round trip to try to get eyes on this young crane.

Number 31-16 also has a GSM remote tracking device so we get hits on him as well and on Sunday, we received data telling us that he was in Lou and Linda’s field – right beside their landing strip!

It seems he stayed for roughly 5 hours foraging in a low, wet spot.

I emailed the following screengrab to Lou and asked if he had given the young crane a lift home the last time he had checked on him…

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  1. Barbara Dobbs June 8, 2017 6:31 pm

    Maybe group crane memory 🙂

  2. Jean P. aka CrabtowneMd June 8, 2017 11:08 am

    What a truly serendipitous happening. Wonderful to know the whoopers remember good rest stops !

    • Heather Ray June 8, 2017 11:33 am

      Oh but this is a parent reared colt from last year and not an ultralight crane. He was never at this stopover 😉

  3. Elsie Sealander June 7, 2017 4:54 pm

    It’s great to have good friends.

  4. Sue Merchant June 7, 2017 3:43 pm

    Wish we all could have seen your reaction when you pieced together this incredible story, Heather. Thank you!

  5. Marilyn June 7, 2017 2:39 pm

    that is toooo much! how cool
    I think “nature” is smarter than we ever give it credit for! I will choose to believe number 31-16 wanted to check out where “Big Bird” lived. LOL

  6. Agneta Sand June 7, 2017 9:41 am

    Thank YOU for all the time you spend looking after the whoopers !

  7. Kathrine Noran June 7, 2017 9:37 am

    Who’d a thought!