Date: 4/21/19 10:14 am From: Candace H <candace69001...> Subject: [ia-bird] Very late report, Allamakee County, New Albin
Last Saturday, April 13th my Mark and I were coming home from Houston County, MN where I had helped with the Int'l Crane Foundation's Crane (ICF) count, when Mark pulled over to see some Sandhills that were in a cornfield just south of New Albin.
In that field, near a group of 8 Sandhill Cranes was a Whooping Crane! I could see bands on the right leg, but not the left so we observed it via the scope till I could verify bands on both legs so I could report it. In continuing to observe it, I noticed the bird was lame, favoring it's left leg, so reporting it became more urgent, in my mind. Here's a video taken via my scope showing it's mobility: https://photos.app.goo.gl/U7RyY3nDP51ovWi5A
Long story short, the ICF, the state DNR and the federal FWS office (Billy-Reiter Marolf & John Below) were notified and since I knew Ric Zarwell often completed crane count for the New Albin area, I also called him to see if he had reported this injured bird.
We didn't make this sighting public since the crane was injured and we wanted to try and make sure it had the ability to stay in the area and gain strength if needed or to move north. It seems to have done the latter.
This WHCR has not been seen for over a week.
This WHCR is 17-11, female, banded in 2011, released at Horicon Marsh. I reported the leg bands were: Left- green, red (top to bottom); right leg bands (top-bottom) are white, green white.
The ICF told us her mate returned to Necedah NWR (Wis) without her and they wondered where she was and if she were still alive as her left leg transmitter was not sending data. I couldn't see any sort of transmitter on her leg. I'm waiting to hear news of her safe arrival in Necedah.
Thank you to Ric & Betty Zarwell, John Below and Billy Reiter-Marolf, and other FWS staff who monitored the bird for a day or two till it left the area. Thanks also to Alan Stankwitz (crane count coordinator for Houston County MN), who got in touch with ICF personnel thru back channels on that Sat afternoon for us.
While we were watching the WHCR, I also counted 104 Bonaparte Gulls ( the multitudes Ric posted about earlier) and there was a really handsome Franklin Gull amongst them, so my Mark could delineate the difference between these two species- both life birds for him. My Mark also got his life Peregrine Falcon that afternoon.
Pretty cool day, all in all. Billy has some really nice photos of this bird that he took last Sunday.