We’ve been getting a number of questions about the number of adult Whooping cranes located at White River Marsh.
I have to keep reminding myself that just because I respond to a question on the chat, which accompanies the live stream, not everyone reads/see it, so here you go.
Currently there are eight whoopers located in and around White River Marsh in Green Lake County. They include: 3-14/4-12 (The Royal Couple), 5-12 & 30-16, 4-13 & 10-15, and 4-14 (Peanut) and 11-15.
Some are wondering why we’ve not seen them at the site where the modified costume reared young cranes are. The easy answer is that they’re birds and they fly around and don’t have to keep a schedule.
The more complicated response is that it’s molt time. Whooping cranes molt every couple of years – this means they lose all flight feathers, along with the ability to fly and are essentially grounded until the new feathers grow back. The timing of this is usually when they have young (flightless) chicks to tend to and to protect.
Here’s a recent photo of whooping crane #14-12 in Michigan. As you can see he is currently waiting for his feathers to return.
We did see the two young males, 4-14 and 11-15 at the north end of the runway the day after the CraneCam began streaming but as far as we know, they are the only two that have dropped by.
If it’s any consolation, we did hear a pair unison calling very early this morning.