St. Marks Arrivals

Refuge manager Terry Peacock messaged a few minutes ago to let us know whooping cranes 5-12 (Henry) and 30-16 are in the release pen!

Photo: Jon Chandler

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  1. Mary Merenda November 26, 2017 8:25 pm

    I heard some fly over Dunnellon FL today! So glad they came back!

  2. Gums November 26, 2017 6:27 pm

    RE: good weather and winds this last week or so.

    Yep, we had two fronts come thru here in the Panhandle, so there’s a nice wind from the north or north east or north west just after passage.

    Not only birds, but Monarch butterflies take advantage on their way to Mexico.

    The fronts and associated highs behind also had little moisture, so flying conditions were great for a week or two on the central flyway.

    I hope more of the birds would like St Marks, as it is really great venue. DItto for south Louisiana, but St Marks easier to get into by road. Louisiana needs boats to get to decent areas.


    I ask again why we can’t reverse the order of the posts here. In other words, the earliest post starting the comments is down at the bottom. That means we have to go way down and then scroll up to the latest post. This is unlike any blog I have seen or use, and it is confusing as to who you are replying to.

    Anyone else have this whine?

    Gums sends..

  3. Mollie Cook November 26, 2017 1:18 pm

    Fantastic news!!!

  4. Grandma November 26, 2017 9:26 am

    Thank you for this wonderful news! Thanks all at OM for everything you do to bring this wonderful bird back for us to enjoy!!

  5. P Doms November 26, 2017 8:44 am

    GREAT NEWS. They can get the quarters ‘in order’ for the arrivals of any other.

  6. Laura Rowan November 26, 2017 7:35 am

    I’m glad they made it down there safe, but by now these birds should be living as wild birds, not hanging out in a pen!

    • Barb November 26, 2017 12:13 pm

      Laura, that is what I was thinking too. Do the Whoppers go to the pen naturally? Can they come and go as they please?

    • Joe Duff November 26, 2017 4:38 pm

      This is a concern that has been raised before and discussed at length within WCEP.

      The pen at St Marks covers four acres of marsh – including two, mostly fresh water ponds. It’s over five hundred feet long and the entire area is open with no top-netting. In fact, unless you stood in the center and looked in a complete circle, you would have no idea it’s an enclosure at all and I am sure the birds don’t realize it is one. With their ability to fly, the fence offers no impedement to them and I suspect they are no more aware of its presence, or its purpose, than they are of the fences encountered in every farm field they have visited.

      Some folks were critical of leading birds to St Marks back when that was part of our mission. They suggested that it was a death trap because of the bobcat predation. Of course St Marks does not compare to the mortality experienced at Chassahowitzka. Or for that matter, the ongoing losses at Necedah. If a few birds at St Marks roost in an enclosure they are not even aware of and it happens to reduce surprise attacks by bobcat, maybe that’s a simple way of addressing those concerns without overt management practices. Of course you can’t please them all.

  7. marje Lloyd November 26, 2017 7:03 am

    Wonderful news!

  8. Agneta Sand November 25, 2017 11:08 pm

    I am so happy for this kind of news ! ! ! Please, PLEASE ! ! ! let it be more ! ! ! !
    I am sitting her smiling from ear to ear, and feel warm and ‘fuzzy’ inside ! ! !

  9. Katheryn Terwilliger November 25, 2017 9:35 pm

    Wonderful. Yay.

  10. Kasie November 25, 2017 6:52 pm

    Wow! What great news!!! That was certainly a quick trip!

  11. Maggie Turk November 25, 2017 6:04 pm

    That is certainly great news. They must have had perfect flying conditions. So discouraging that the “youngens ” did not join them. Just keep hoping they have their chance yet with a group of sandies maybe.

  12. PattiLat November 25, 2017 5:29 pm

    Terrific news!

  13. Cheryl Murphy November 25, 2017 4:41 pm

    What great news! Whew!

  14. Cheryl N. November 25, 2017 2:38 pm

    Whoop, whoop, hurray! Fantastic news!

  15. Jean P. aka CrabtowneMd November 25, 2017 1:50 pm

    WHOOP ! ! and Yabba-dabba-doo ! ; definitely good news.
    Henry and 30-16 must of had a “polar express” for their migration……..
    now if those colts would just get their bustles on the next train. Keeping the faith that they will finally follow other cranes South.

  16. Ann Manning November 25, 2017 1:44 pm


  17. Barb November 25, 2017 1:21 pm

    Yeah! They had a safe trip, indeed. A good sigh of relief.

  18. Mindy November 25, 2017 1:12 pm

    So glad they made it safely….

  19. GinnyL November 25, 2017 1:09 pm

    How cool is this! Sure didn’t take them long, must have been some great northern winds all along the way.