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Ultra-Whoopers In Florida

Hatch Year '01 (HY01) and Hatch Year '02 (HY02) in the open-topped release enclosure on the Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge in Florida
Photos taken Nov. 28th and Dec. 3rd. 
HY01 crane #5 departed central Wisconsin on November 23 and arrived at the Chassahowitzka NWR wintering site on Thanksgiving day, Nov. 28th. On hand to witness his unscheduled  arrival were several of the OM team members and Richard Urbanek, USFWS. Richard had picked up the radio signal from the birds transmitter and alerted the crew who were inspecting the newly enlarged release pen, allowing them to exit the pen and move to the observation tower to watch as #5 returned unaided to his former winter site.
Crane #5 appeared in the distance, set his large wings and descended into the release pen, which he had vacated last April before returning north with his four flockmates to central Wisconsin and the Necedah NWR.

HY01 Crane #5 (2nd from left) is still hanging out in the large open-top enclosure, keeping company with the sixteen HY02 chicks, which were delivered on Sat. Nov. 30th 2002.
HY01 cranes 1 & 2 also returned to Chassahowitzka from Wisconsin, making the trip in only 5-days. They have since moved a bit south of the release site and remain a pair.

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