Date: 5/1/17 6:01 pm
From: Herschel Raney <herschel.raney...>
Subject: Whoopers
At the risk of annoying someone, I will say that equating these Whooping
Cranes that are part of the re-establishment program which are highly
monitored and very human adapted with your normal rare bird sighting is
a grave miscategorization. These birds require special care as they are
just beginning to perform actual migration feats that make any sense and
to nest on their return north. Frankly I don’t think their positions
should be reported at all. And I would be on the committee that voted
for moving any of them that stayed in the location these recent birds
chose for a sustained stay. I received photos of the birds with their
leg equipment, antennas and frightening background of rural homesteads
and lawns with highway. Hell I would have moved them myself with a sack
of corn and a roomy trailer in the dark of night if I could have pulled
it off. Hauled them out to Big Lake. Though Lord knows what the
satellite monitoring boys would have thought. “Jim, these two look like
they are travelling at 65 mph about eight feet off the ground in the
dark towards the Mississippi.” No doubt I would have been busted.

I went thirty years ago to south Texas and watched adult and juvenile
Whoopers out in the marshes they winter in from the safety of a boat. It
was a fine landscape. These regal wild birds choose generally regal
places to stay. These new birds don’t know. But perhaps their children
will. Seeing these two recent birds in just the photos reminded me of
how broken the world is. And I had no desire to see them in that
condition or location.

In any case, accusing the birders of Arkansas of colluding to hide
rarities, struck me as misinformed. And when the first wild adult
Whooper wanders away from the Platte River corridor and shows up at
Millwood or the coastal plain or the fields along the Mississippi you
can bet Kenny or LaDonna or Charles or Richard or Joe will inform people
that they have arrived.

And then I would go.

The website for the project (you know, if you want to give them some money):

Herschel Raney

Conway AR

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