Lake Michigan

Parent-Reared Whooping crane 39-17 was released at Horicon NWR last fall along with 38-17. Both females did not seem to form an association with other Whoopers and instead, spent time with Sandhills.

While 38-17 became the first ever Whooping crane in the Eastern Migratory Population to not head south for the winter, 39-17 did head south but only as far as Jasper County, Indiana.

This spring, she headed due north -finding herself on the wrong side of Lake Michigan.

For the past week she has been very slowly making her way south again and her hit from late yesterday confirms she figured it out and is now back on track and heading to Wisconsin!

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  1. Cheryl N. April 29, 2018 9:19 pm

    – clever girl, glad she figured it out

  2. lilbirdz April 29, 2018 6:07 pm

    Whoopers are amazing: no map, no co-pilot, no cell phone. Their internal GPS gets them where they need to go. I have to leave a trail of bread crumbs to find my way home.

  3. Dorothy N April 29, 2018 3:02 pm

    Even though I love having a few whoopers in Michigan, I’m glad 39-17 is wending her way back to where she came from. Given her smarts, I hope she breeds when the time comes.

  4. Bikebrains April 29, 2018 2:29 pm

    39-17 should be given the nickname of “Ferdinand “, the first whooper to go around Lake Michigan. Maybe use Ferdinanda.

  5. Mindy April 29, 2018 12:39 pm

    Super news Heather! What a smart girl!

  6. Jane Maher April 29, 2018 12:35 pm

    She must have heard about box transport and decided it was not for her!

  7. Calistus Holland April 29, 2018 11:42 am

    Let’s give her a Nick name. I st we should call her wrong way Nellie.

  8. Maggie Turk April 29, 2018 11:00 am

    Last evening we drove the auto tour through the Horicon Marsh. We saw 3 light colored cranes flying in the distance (no binauculars) . Could they have been whoopers?? Just hoping!!!

    • Heather Ray April 29, 2018 1:40 pm

      Could be!