Sunday, September 11, 2011

Whooping Cranes near Northfield

Two rare whooping cranes have been hanging out in a field and a nearby wetland on Old Dutch Road west of Northfield for several days -- I'm not sure whether they are still in the area. When we heard about them on Friday, they had been already spotted the previous two days as well. These photos were taken Friday; on Saturday we looked again in the late afternoon and saw only one. If you go looking for them, do not trespass into the field or wetland, and be careful not to disturb the cranes.

Information about this breeding pair of cranes, based on the visible bands in photos examined by a representative of the International Crane Foundation in Wisconsin, is given in Dan Tallman's Bird Blog. They have been together for about three years and are part of a flock that breeds in Wisconsin and winters in Florida.

More background on these highly endangered birds appears in my post Whooping Cranes from last May. At that time two birds (I don't know if they were the same pair seen this week) were seen near Dennison, on the other side of Northfield.


Anonymous said...

I went past them on the evening of Sept 11, 2011 and they were couple hundred yards into that field yet at 7pm. Eric schrader

Penelope said...

We lent a friend our spotting scope so she could go take a good look and she reports having seen them this afternoon.