Those that have been following this reintroduction for at least the past couple of years will likely remember “Kevin.” Like all Whooping cranes in the Eastern Migratory Population, he too, started like with a number – in this case he is #20-15. How did he get the name “Kevin”?
This young Parent-Reared crane took a wrong turn when he left Wisconsin in the fall of 2015 and ended up in Dubuque, Iowa, behind a Buffalo Wild Wings Restaurant. The staff at the restaurant named him after the 13 ft. tall flightless bird in the movie UP.
“Kevin” was captured and returned to Wisconsin and was released in an area along the Wisconsin River and he eventually migrated south – to LOUISIANA!
He spent his first winter in St. Martin Parish, Louisiana and then returned in late April to Wisconsin. The following year, he again flew all the way to Louisiana to spend the winter and then in the spring of 2017 he flew north to Wisconsin – choosing to spend the summer/fall in Walworth County.
A couple weeks ago, he departed Wisconsin and this time, he didn’t make a beeline to Louisiana. Instead, he first flew southeast to Jasper County, Indiana where he spent a short time.
Here’s a look at Kevin’s travels since he was released in the fall of 2015:
This morning we received PTT hits for his remote tracking device and it appears yesterday, this well-traveled Whooping crane headed southwest from Hiwassee and arrived – get this – at the SAME LOCATION in Jackson County, Alabama where four other Whoopers have been spending time over the past few weeks!
And here is his location in Jackson County, Alabama:
The purple line is Kevin’s flight path. The dark blue dots indicate hits for adult #2-15 and the red/yellow dots indicate hits for one of this year’s Parent-Reared cranes #25-17. There are two other birds using this same area and they are: #28-05 and Parent-Reared crane chick #19-17.
I’ve asked it before and I’ll ask again: How do they manage to find each other????