First Aerial Survey of 2018

Bev Paulan was able to get a flight in Monday and reports finding only one nest. The nest belongs to 5-11 & 12-11 and is located in Juneau County.

By April 10th last year, there were 19 active nests so you can see how late everything is this year.

Bev is planning another flight tomorrow so it’ll be interesting to see if the nest count rises just 3 days later. The weather has been steadily warming up since the snow/ice storm, which hit the area a week and a half ago and the only evidence of the spring storm are the piles made by the snow plows.

Even the Royal Couple (4-12 & 3-14) have not yet begun nesting. We’ve seen them in the general area where last year’s nest was but they are not there all the time and Bev didn’t see them at all on Monday. Hopefully they’re building a nest over the last couple of days.

Sadly, Bev found the remains of Parent-Reared Whooping crane #30-17 in Lake County, Illinois. Regular readers will remember this young female crane was released in Winnebago County, WI last fall and was monitored by Jo-Anne Bellemer. 

When she migrated south – she REALLY went south… She flew over a thousand miles to Plaquemines Parish on the Mississippi Delta area of Louisiana. Her remains were sent to the USGS National Wildlife Health Lab.

Here are a couple of photos Bev sent along…

Costume-reared cranes 3 & 7-17 arrived in Juneau County a couple weeks ago. Photo: B. Paulan

Whooping crane #4-08 getting ready to launch (Love the shadow!). Photo: B. Paulan


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  1. Mindy April 29, 2018 12:48 pm

    Sad to hear that 30-17 was lost…good news for the other two though….

  2. Cheryl N. April 25, 2018 11:12 pm

    I’m so sorry about the loss of #30-17. Thank you for the update. Fingers crossed for some progress in nest building.

  3. Cheryl Murphy April 25, 2018 3:49 pm

    Thank you for the update, cam, sloshing through swamps and all the other things OM does in support of the cranes. Sorry to hear about 30-17.

  4. jcminnesota April 25, 2018 10:20 am

    I am hoping the delayed spring will disrupt the timing of the blackfly hatch so the whoopers miss the overlap…..and we see a nesting success breakthrough.

  5. Di Lowe April 25, 2018 8:44 am

    So appreciate these updates. Love that the cam is up, thank you for all your hard work to bring us these benefits.

  6. Jane Maher April 25, 2018 7:56 am

    What became of the bird who flew to Michigan this spring?

    • Heather Ray April 25, 2018 12:51 pm

      There are 3 whooping cranes in Michigan. 14-12 typically summers there. Two Parent-reared released last fall are also there. They are 72-17 & 39-17.