On November 28th, costume-reared whooping cranes 4-17 and 6-17 were captured in the White River Marsh area and relocated to a spot along the Wisconsin River, which still had hundreds of Sandhill cranes.
The hope was that it would disrupt the social structure of the Costume-reared cohort and perhaps give the two cranes a chance to form a bond and migrate south with Sandhill cranes.
On Thursday, it seems they began heading south – at the time, winds were from the west-northwest and temps were starting to fall. ICF’s Hillary Thompson saw the two whoopers that morning, along with the Sandhills still in the area but by 10 am they were in the air!
Here’s a screengrab from late yesterday showing the pings from 6-17’s remote tracking device.
If you’re wondering just which birds are still in Wisconsin – there are still three costume-reared birds: #’s 1, 2 & 8-17 in Green Lake County and two parent-reared cranes: #’s 38 & 39-17, in Dodge County. Temps are still falling and winds will be out of the north today so keep your eyes to the skies and you’ll hopefully catch a glimpse if they decide to vacate the state today!