Monday, January 4, 2010

Just Another Whooping Crane


These things keep turning up in my neighborhood. This one has been around for three days now. What's a girl to do?

Nothing but kick back and enjoy. I reported this guy to Operation Migration, and they told me that this is bird #829 from the fall 2008 migration class. So he/she first came to Florida from Wisconsin, with a flock lead by an ultralight aircraft, last year.

The bird's ID number is a bit misleading. At the moment, there are nowhere near 829 whoopers left on the planet. According to Operation Migration's website, there are only 383 birds in the wild (including those in the ultralight-lead flock) and 152 in captivity. So a grand total of 535 in all.

I've taught undergraduate general-ed classes about this size.

Amazing that a bird this big and strong-looking can be so vulnerable—and yet, seem so happy foraging away only feet from a busy highway.

And even sadder to me is watching all the thousands of drivers just whizzing by this big white apparation without realizing what an amazing sight they have just in front of them. They obviously don't give a whoop.

8 comments:

Ali Iyoob said...

And look at all the heavy metal he's carrying! Great you were able to report him in.
Ali

Felicia said...

Yup--note too the radio antenna on his right leg! Whoopers really can't go anywhere without someone knowing where they are!

walk2write said...

What a beauty and a great find! I, for one, would give a whoop to see one.

Felicia said...

Walk2write--whoopers are wonderful! Even better in real life than in pictures; you'll be delighted if you see one.

jen said...

Wow!! Love the crane!

Felicia said...

Thanks! And thanks for stopping by!

Kelly said...

wow......you're so lucky to have one in your yard. Cool you were able to find out where he was from. It's amazing...

Felicia said...

Hi Kelly,

Welcome aboard! That Whooper wasn't exactly in my yard, but pretty close (just across the street in a cow pasture). And it was really cool to learn the bird's life history.