Parent-reared Whooping crane #70-16 aka “Bryce” was found last week tangled in a fence. He was taken to the Liberty Nature Center in Pulaski County, Kentucky, where it was discovered he had, at one time, a break in his wing, which had since healed but formed a large calcification, preventing him from flying.

This young male crane was initially held back at ICF when it was discovered he had sustained an injury to a wing. Once treated, he was released in Marathon County, WI, however, he failed to migrate south so he was captured and transported to Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge in north Alabama.

The following spring, he began heading north on his own and flew to Hardin County, TN for a few days then flew about 250 miles northeast to Knox County, KY where he spent the summer, fall and even part of the winter before he was discovered last week tangled in a fence.

The fate of this crane is, as yet, unknown but he is doing well at Liberty Nature Center with a steady diet and medical care. 

The Species Survival Plan coordinator is working to locate a longer term place to hold him but he will very likely be placed at a captive breeding center.

Have a look at the video accompanying this article about Bryce (#70-16).

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  1. Catherine Wohlfeil February 7, 2018 9:21 pm

    It sounds like he’s being cared for by loving people. He’s in good hands…

  2. MaryAnn Hensarling February 7, 2018 3:46 pm

    Let him be an ambassador for all other Whopping cranes. So many of us only get to read about them and never see a real whooper.
    MaryAnn Hensarling

  3. Grandma February 7, 2018 11:39 am

    Thank you for this information Heather. It is good to know he was found before it was too late.
    Thank you and all at OM for everything you do for the Whoopers.

  4. Andrea Johnson February 7, 2018 11:20 am

    As I can appreciate the good work in saving this Whooping Crane; doesn’t the USFWS has the final say regarding the fate of Bryce? This male crane is needed for the survival of the species. What have they got to say regarding a return to WI? Who is better at addressing this birds needs than OM? Let’s work on getting Bryce back where he belongs.

  5. Cheryl N. February 7, 2018 11:17 am

    Best wishes for a good recovery for Bryce. Thank you to the landowner for finding him and getting help.

  6. DorothyN February 7, 2018 10:27 am

    Ditto to Jane’s comment about the eastern flock. I’m quite someone is already on the task of updating them on OMs work. Especially since Kentucky is often a pass-through state for migrating birds. How was he found? Was his tracking instrument working?

    • Heather Ray February 7, 2018 10:41 am

      The lady at the rehab center spent several minutes on the phone with ICF and they explained the bird was released by the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership in Wisconsin and was a member of the EMP. Apparently they neglected to take notes.

      Yes his GSM unit was functioning and we knew where he was. The property owner, whose land he had been using discovered him tangled in the fence.

  7. Mary Mattison February 7, 2018 10:21 am

    Sorry to hear of Bryce’s injuries. I hope he does well wherever he is placed.

  8. Ginny Eastwood February 7, 2018 9:53 am

    So happy he was found and is being helped.

  9. Vivienne Rimoldi February 7, 2018 8:34 am

    Even captive, his safety comes first. So glad he was found alive.


  10. RadAudit February 7, 2018 8:27 am

    Good to read that Bryce is doing better.

  11. Barb February 7, 2018 8:13 am

    Each bird is so precious. Thank God he was found, before he most certainly would have died. He is safe now, and will be for the rest of his life.

  12. Jane Maher February 7, 2018 7:55 am

    Thanks to all these helpful folks. But they need to know about Wisconsin!