Whooper #8-15

This young crane wasn’t remarkable as a youngster. She didn’t stand out for any reason other than her beauty. She was calm. She followed the aircraft and the costumes well. She returned north in the spring of 2016 and again this past spring season.

She’s always been a bit of a loner and hasn’t associated with any other whooping cranes post release but that’s not unusual given her age. In another year, once those hormones kick in, she’ll be more interested in other whooping cranes.

Last summer she spent months at one location in Winnebago County, WI., barely venturing out more than a mile. In the late fall she flew south to Sumter County, Alabama and again, barely moved over the entire winter season. 

She returned north this spring and has stopped in Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin. Each week Doug Pellerin has tried to get a visual on her instead of just listening for the beeps from her transmitter. 

She has a GSM remote tracking device as well as her VHF radio, so I can see that she is indeed moving back and forth from a foraging field to a small wetland where she roots, but it always gives peace of mind to actually get eyeballs on a crane.

We last week persistence and patience paid off! In the pouring rain there she stood – glowing white.

Here are a couple of photos Doug captured for you.

Whooping crane 8-15. Photo: Doug Pellerin

Whooping crane 8-15. Photo: Doug Pellerin

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  1. Marilyn June 30, 2017 11:22 am

    Beautiful pics, Doug. Thank you for ALL you do!

    (can somebody either give me the URL for the live cam and chat at White River Marsh, or, tell me how to find it? I had it, now can’t find it. Thank you so much.)

  2. Bobbie (piscesbobbie) June 29, 2017 8:38 am

    She is so beautiful… I hope she finds a guy to pal around with.

  3. Cheryl N. June 28, 2017 11:12 pm

    Thank you for the beautiful photos, Doug, and for the story of #8-15, Heather.

  4. D. Schwall June 28, 2017 8:25 pm

    Hope she finds her very special friend.

  5. FFMN June 28, 2017 6:33 pm

    I kept notes on the 2015 ‘gang’ and saw that #8 was noted to ‘be a calm bird, follows trike well & so cute; She is happy & joyful on walks and skips along with wings spread. Altho can slow group down * be a forager along with #2.. (Not my words, but OM words/
    Enjoy life former #8

    • Marilyn June 30, 2017 11:53 am

      thank you for looking up those comments, FFMN. So cool to be able to track the development of personalities as they grow up. How fortunate are we to be able to observe this… thanks to all the hard-working OM crew!

  6. Mrs. Nally June 28, 2017 5:42 pm

    She is gorgeous ! Thank you for your mission with these Whooping Cranes.

  7. Kathrine Noran June 28, 2017 10:44 am

    Could she have been in the Kettle Moraine area? We thought we saw a crane with our binoculars in the shore if Long Lake.

    • Heather Ray June 28, 2017 11:56 am

      During what time Kathrine? I can certainly check to see if there are any sightings in the area recorded in the database.

      • Kathrine June 28, 2017 7:04 pm

        This was early morning on the eastern shore of Long Lake in Fondulac county. I’m not sure of the day. either Wednesday, Thursday or Friday last week. June 21, 22, or 23. With our binoculars we made out a tall white bird.

  8. Mollie Cook June 28, 2017 10:41 am

    She is so gorgeous! Thank you for your patience & persistence Doug!!

  9. Dorothy N June 28, 2017 8:34 am

    She’s a beauty!

  10. Dana Courtney June 28, 2017 7:56 am