Royal Rumble?

The “Royal Couple” consists of Whooping cranes 4-12 (M) and 3-14 (F) and they are the first pair to establish a territory and nest in White River Marsh. Their first nest occurred in 2017 and sadly, ended when a coyote predated it. Their second nest was built this past spring and it was so far out into the marsh we were not able to observe it with our camera so the only outcome we know is that they do not have a chick.

The last time they were observed in the White River Marsh area was in early April immediately after a late winter storm and prior to their retreat into the marsh to nest.

This past week these two were spotted by an ICF tracker in the same field as 5-12 (m) aka “Henry” and his mate 67-15 aka “Patty”. Corn had recently been removed from the field and this foursome, along with several Sandhill cranes were helping to clean up the spilled corn.

The two pairs didn’t seem to terribly mind the presence of each other and there was no visible sparring or threat posturing observed.

Luckily for us, they were all present again yesterday morning so we drove over to get some photos, along with Doug and Mako Pellerin who had just treated us to a feast consisting of Mako’s famous eggrolls.


From left to right: #4-12, #67-15, #3-14 & 5-12. Photo: Doug Pellerin

It appears Henry and Patty have convinced 4-12 & 3-14 to move along. Photo: Doug Pellerin

Henry (5-12) shows off for Patty (67-15). This was more of a show for the other pair than his mate. Photo: Heather Ray

Nevertheless Patty joins in on the dancing. Photo: Heather Ray

Don’t forget to place your best bid on your favorite item in our online auction! Bidding closes tomorrow at noon eastern.

Share Button


  1. Elsie Sealander September 22, 2018 10:47 am

    These pictures are so positive and wonderful to see.

  2. piscesbobbie September 21, 2018 2:37 pm

    Thank you for sharing the photos! So glad to see Henry! I won him during the auction last year. I have him sitting out to send good signals for him to have a happy, healthy future!

  3. Cheryl N. September 21, 2018 1:19 pm

    Beautiful photos! Thanks for the update!

  4. CrabtowneMd September 21, 2018 9:57 am

    Seeing them in the same field must have brought you great joy.! I Love that both pairs are being seen and “tolerating” each others presence. Here’s hoping for successful nesting next Spring.

  5. Lindi Allen September 21, 2018 9:43 am

    Nice to see them, thanks for posting pictures. I hope for chicks next year.

  6. Mary Jo September 21, 2018 9:31 am

    Love these pictures. Thank you.