A Bird in Hand…

Hopefully, you are aware we are currently conducting a study in the White River Marsh area of Wisconsin to determine breeding success among Sandhill cranes.

The results should indicate how their endangered cousins – the Whooping cranes we’ve been working to safeguard – will fair in the area. The results of this study could guide future Whooping crane management decisions.

We arrived at our Green Lake County camp on April 15th – in the middle of a late winter storm, which dropped between 16 – 20 inches of wet, heavy snow. We assume a number of nests were abandoned in the storm and we found two nests containing cold eggs which corroborate our assumption.

In the next few days, we located 3 more nests and we’re now up to 10 known nests, including a Whooping crane nest on White River Marsh!

Two Whooping crane eggs in nest JD07N. Photo: H. Ray

The Royal Couple – Whooping cranes 3-14 (F) and 4-12 (M) – are nesting again! Let’s hope the second time is more successful than their first attempt last year, which was predated by a coyote within a day or so of hatching.

Yesterday, we captured our first Sandhill crane chick for the study. Officially known as JD1.1, this little guy/gal weighed in at a whopping 110 grams. This means he/she is within a week of age.

JD1.1 was our first capture. Photo: H. Ray

Mom and Dad Sandhill retreated while we did our work to capture, radio mark, and weigh/measure the little fluff ball before it was released.

We’ll continue to search for additional nests and chicks over the coming weeks but we need your help.

As much as we love the work we do, we can’t do it without your financial support. There are expenses associated with all conservation work but did you know that of all the charitable causes, wildlife conservation is the LEAST funded?

The five most popular charitable causes are religion, education, human services, health, culture and humanities. The environment and wildlife doesn’t even make the top five and receives only 3% of all charitable giving in North America!

We feel our natural world is critically important. We believe our work is important. We think Whooping cranes should hold a place of honor in the ecosystem and we hope you feel the same.

Some of the expenses we could use your help covering are listed below. Would you have a look to see if you can help? 

Propane for our Rv’s:                                        $25/30lb bottle
Packerland Portables Porta-potty rental:           $250/month
Vehicle fuel: (3 vehicles)                                   $200/week 
Camp groceries: (crew of 4)                              $180/week
Camp groceries: (per person)                            $45
Pizza Night:                                                       $60
Help with crew wages:                                       $100
Case of water: (per RV)                                     $5
Diesel oil change:                                              $125

Whatever amount you can give, rest assured we will put it to good use! Click here to contribute and in the note section, please indicate the item you’d like to help fund.

Operation Migration is in its eighteenth year of Whooping crane conservation and we plan to keep going as long as it takes to safeguard the future for this iconic, endangered species.

Share Button