We’ve had a number of reports from folks concerned about the behavior of birders and photographers at Goose Pond in Greene County, Indiana.
As you know, there are a number of Whooping cranes currently spending time at this ideal location. There have been several instances of trespassing by people who are trying to get photos or better looks at the Whooping Cranes.
Whooping Cranes are rare and beautiful birds, and it is amazing that you can see them in your state. If you encounter Whooping Cranes, whether you are viewing or photographing them, here are some important guidelines to follow:
If you encounter a whooping crane in the wild, please give them the respect and distance they need. Do not approach birds on foot within 200 yards; remain in your vehicle; do not approach in a vehicle any closer than 100 yards. Also, please remain concealed and do not speak loudly enough that the birds can hear you. Finally, do not trespass on private property in an attempt to view or photograph whooping cranes.
If the cranes you are viewing change their behavior, such as going from feeding and relaxing to being alert, walking away, or flying away, you are too close to the cranes.
If you notice anyone violating these guidelines, please report him or her to (800) 847-4367 (Indiana poaching hotline) or call local law enforcement.
If YOU spot a Whooping crane, be sure to complete the public sighting report form, which is then distributed to the WCEP Monitoring and Management Team.