Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Finally a Wild Whooping Crane!

This is a Whooping Crane, one of the 500 left in existence, 400 of which are in the wild. You can see the labels on her legs if you double click on the picture. She is 16-10, a young female who first was taught the migration route last year by following an ultralite aircraft from Wisconsin. Her one leg has a red, green and white band and her other leg and black and white band. She now vacations with the Sandhill Cranes in Florida. My sister's sighting was the first since she left Wisconsin and the Operation Migration people were very happy. We have gone by the area where we saw her before but she was much too far away. On Saturday, she cooperated by flying over to a closer area while we were there (although still quite a distance away on the far side of a pond). She was in the company of several Sandhill Cranes as well as one very fat Greylag Goose!

This is looking at the back of the head with her red marking very much like the Sandhill Crane. It is difficult to see that it is red with the lighting.

I just thought this was a pretty decent picture of her.

Here she is with one of the Sandhill Cranes. The Whooping Cranes besides their obvious white as opposed to grey feathers are quite a bit larger in adulthood than the Sandhill Cranes.
Just another picture from the side.  

Here were the three of them all lined up, the Greylag Goose, the Whooping Crane and one of the Sandhill Cranes.

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