Heading South

This past spring we saw male Whooping crane #4-14 (Peanut) capture the heart of a young female crane #7-17. The latter was a costume-reared crane raised at White River Marsh and Peanut was an aircraft-guided bird with a leg injury and a stabilizing brace, which made him miss the majority of the southward migration flights. This led to him being retrieved from Wabash Island and driven back to Green Lake County, WI in the spring of 2015.

Because of his past, he has become a favorite of most Craniacs and our team.

Another reason we are so invested in him is that he stayed in the White River Marsh area so we’re hopeful he will eventually nest and raise young there.

He and #7-17 spent the entire spring and summer just south of the small town of Princeton and were occasionally spotted by the locals.

Last week we received GSM hits indicating #7-17 was on the move south and we can only assume Peanut is still with her. Have a look at their flight path.

With a great tailwind, these two covered close to 200 miles in their first 4 hours of flight.

If their flight plan is similar to last fall they should arrive at Wheeler NWR any day now. (Let’s just hope he avoids Wabash Island).



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  1. Cheryl N. November 19, 2018 6:20 pm

    Thank you so much for the update. Safe journey to Peanut and his girl, and all the others, too.

  2. Angela November 18, 2018 8:14 pm

    At Wheeler Wildlife Refuge today.. Spectacular show of Whooping Cranes.. 25 Beautiful Birds!!!

  3. Angela November 18, 2018 8:12 pm

    Please keep posted

  4. russell studebaker November 18, 2018 4:38 pm

    I greatly enjoy the dialogue on the cranes. but will you please include the state in the details. For example: Wasbash Island, and Princeton.
    You all know where these places are; but we readers from other states do not !
    thanks, russell studebaker, Tulsa, OK

  5. GinnyL November 17, 2018 4:41 pm

    So appreciate the update. Safe travels Peanut and to all of our beautiful Whooping Cranes.

  6. Elsie Sealander November 17, 2018 8:05 am

    Wonderful news. Thank you.

  7. Mindy November 16, 2018 8:03 pm

    Awww Peanut….so dear to our hearts….Stick with her Peanutty boy, then bring her back to WRM in the spring….Prayers for your journey. Heather, thanks for the update!

  8. virginia eastwood November 16, 2018 6:23 pm

    Thanks so happy to here of Peanut.

  9. Jean P aka CrabtowneMd November 16, 2018 5:16 pm

    Thank you for keeping us posted. Hoping and praying for a safe journey for 7-17 and Peanut . May they have tailwinds the whole way!

  10. June November 16, 2018 11:57 am

    Thanks for all your updates over the years. I will really miss this kind of update. Good job Heather.

  11. Grandma November 16, 2018 11:17 am

    Thank you for the update on Peanut and his Lady Friend! Wishing them a safe journey south!

  12. Barb November 16, 2018 8:17 am

    Hopefully, they stay put for a few days. There are terrible snowy conditions in their path. Thanks for the update on their success. Oh, you said that hopefully they are together. Doesn’t Peanut have tracking jewelry on his legs?

    • Heather Ray November 16, 2018 9:37 am

      No he doesn’t

  13. softwalker November 16, 2018 7:49 am

    This one event alone spells SUCCESS, demonstrating OM’s dedication and successful efforts, of which there are many examples!!!!!

  14. Cheryl November 16, 2018 7:21 am

    Great news. Fair winds. Be safe. Thank you for letting us know. ((Peanut))