Captive-bred whooping crane release dates announced
by Pam Rotella
28 September 2013
Operation Migration has set September 30th as its 2013 migration departure date, according to an entry by Joe Duff in the group's In the Field blog. While Duff acknowledges the possibility of weather delays, ultra-light pilots will begin leading the young whooping cranes through their first migration south on Monday.
The pilots, followed by eight young whooping cranes and a ground crew, will depart White River Marsh Wildlife Area in Wisconsin, with a final destination of St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge in Florida.
Also, the captive-bred whooping cranes at Horicon Marsh will be released during October, according to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Biologist Sadie O'Dell. Horicon's whooping cranes are in the Direct Autumn Release (DAR) program, which provides no migration guidance to the cranes other than the opportunity to observe other crane flocks at Horicon Marsh.
O'Dell said that Horicon's DAR program does not have an exact release date, because the release must be timed according to sandhill crane activities, which are unpredictable.
All original content including photographs © 2013 by Pam Rotella.