We are Humbled…

We have received so many incredibly heartfelt and sincere messages since we posted our decision to resign from the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership and to dissolve the organization. It feels almost selfish keeping them all to ourselves so we decided to share some of them with all of you.

Although today’s news is sad, your vision for the future of those magnificent Whooping Cranes was inspirational, practical and on the grandest of scales. To your legion of fans, you will always be airborne with cranes pacing your wings  – migrating with the birds you love. Your tireless dedication to Operation Migration sets the standard for bird preservation efforts everywhere so you have much of which to be proud. 

Your friends,

George Petrides, Sr., and all at the Wild Bird Centers


We were very saddened by the news that Operation Migration is dissolving. We would like to thank you for your dedication and the awareness of the whooping cranes you have brought to so many people, us included. Your work to help the cranes in the eastern migration route has been amazing and something that we have been following for many years. We had the pleasure of seeing the training flights for the young cranes before they made their journey south. You have inspired us to explore and learn more about birds and to understand the importance of their environment.  We love the whooping cranes and watch for them wherever we go. We are fortunate to have a weekend place near Princeton so keep our eyes open all around the area and are excited when we see the cranes in their favorite field or when traveling down highway 22 on our way home. Our trip to Necedah NWR is always a success when we see the whooping cranes and is especially amazing when we get to see the young fledglings. All of this has been inspired by your team, your enthusiasm and the dedication you have shown for this magnificent bird.   We have followed your blog which has allowed us to keep up on the progress of the eastern population and have really enjoyed your stories and adventures. We will miss having this means to learn and follow the travels of these birds. — Sue and Ben Schwenn, Wisconsin

Hello everybody at Operation Migration,

As a long term supporter of OM, I am very saddened by this news. Thank you for all of the hard work that you have done to support whooping cranes.  I appreciate that this must have been a very difficult decision.  If you truly believe that you cannot support the WCEP’s initiatives, then withdrawing and dissolving the organization is the right thing to do.

I wish you all the best in any future initiatives that you undertake,


Cathy Page, Alberta

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  1. PDoms August 30, 2018 9:14 am

    VERY SAD for this outcome after so many years of heart-felt work by OM. However, you have taught us viewers sooo much about many things besides just getting Whoopers to and fro. You teaching, humor encounters etc have made ‘getting up early’ to watch migrations all worth while. May God bless you ALL going forward.

  2. Cheryl Murphy August 30, 2018 8:25 am

    Well deserved accolades.

  3. Mitchelle’ Levone’ Wright August 29, 2018 7:50 pm

    Please forgive me, but I stopped following with the stoppage of the flights. It hurt. That’s all I can say. Still, can anyone tell me what happened to Peanut?

    • Heather Ray August 30, 2018 5:38 am

      The “Nut” has established a territory south of Princeton, WI and has a gal pal, #7-17 🙂

  4. lu frank August 29, 2018 2:57 pm

    I have enjoyed my time with all of you! Although I have never seen a whooper in flight ( it was on my bucket list), I have seen the couple at Homosassa Wildlife Park in Florida. I am going to miss OM and each and every one of you who have contributed your heart, time, and souls to this wonderful organization.

    Fly free my friends!

  5. Susanne Shrader August 29, 2018 1:42 pm

    Hi, too, I am sad that this organization is dissolving. I didn’t quite understand what the initiatives entail. It sounded like you guys are pessimistic that there will ever be a self-sustaining Eastern population, due to the initiatives of the remaining eastern partnership members. Is that so?

    • Heather Ray August 29, 2018 2:59 pm

      actually, it is due to A) the limited release method (parent-rearing) being mandated by the Whooping crane recovery team. Other reintroductions are allowed to use costume-reared cranes – why not the EMP? and
      B) the small number of cranes being allocated to the EMP when other reintroductions are being assigned close to 20 cranes each year, the EMP gets possibly half that number.

      • Susanne Shrader September 4, 2018 6:20 am

        They are stupid.

  6. Karla August 29, 2018 11:57 am

    Operation Migration’s dedication to the whooping cranes and accomplishments will never be forgotten.

  7. Meg Lunnum August 29, 2018 11:24 am

    What will happen to the upcoming planned auction?

    • Heather Ray August 29, 2018 1:15 pm

      The auction is still taking place. Both at the festival and online following the festival.

  8. BJ August 29, 2018 10:01 am

    Godspeed to all of you who worked tirelessly to help these beautiful birds. I will miss the updates, inspiration and education you bestowed on all in your efforts to save these most magnificent of God’s creatures. May you be forever blessed. You will be missed.

  9. Marilyn Fleming August 29, 2018 8:59 am

    I too am saddened. I have followed this organization since 2005. I have a quilt I won in a fall raffle in 2007. It was to be donated back later for another raffle. Not sure now what I will do when the time comes. The people of this organization gave much of themselves to our cranes. I wish them all well and will miss watching as they progress. Success in all you do.

  10. Doug Pellerin August 29, 2018 8:22 am

    Such wonderful comments. Thank you all.