“TOO COOL FOR WORDS!” SAYS OM CREW Aug.22,2012 The crew had some excitement at White River Marsh yesterday. The distinctive sound of Whooping cranes calling drew them out of the pen, and the CraneCam captured the scene of three costumes staring intently up into the sky. Sure enough, if you focused fast enough and hard enough you could see the indistinct shape of four birds as they passed almost directly over the pen. Volunteer crane handler, Doug Pellerin was quick on the draw – with his camera that is – and managed to fire off a few frames before the cranes disappeared from view. It appears the Whoopers were part of the 2011 ultralight-led cohort, seven of which were last reported on August 20th near Lake Pudkaway about 11 miles as the crane flies from the pensite. The seven cranes at that location were numbers 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, and 11. Which of them were the ones overflying the pen is anyone’s guess, but because they’ve been such a tight group, the bet is they were 3, 4, 5, and 6. As for the rest of the 2011 yearlings, #9 is deceased, #2 is in Adams County, and #1 was found in Columbia County by Wisconsin DNR pilot, Bev Paulan while conducting an aerial survey in that area in early August. It is #4 in that group that carries a PTT. It will be interesting to see where his signal is recorded next. It appears the costumes weren’t the only ones excited by the Whooper calls. Scroll down to the last photo to see 7-12 turning an eye to the sky.