FW: [Tweeters] White Crane over Ice Harbor Dam

Eric Kowalczyk aceros at mindspring.com
Mon Oct 11 21:50:17 PDT 2010


Knowing that cranes can live into their 70's plus....I first thought that this possible Whooping crane could be one from the project at Gray's Lake in the late 70's and early 80's...but a search found this:

In 1975 scientists and wildlife officials decided to use a new technique to start a second wild whooper flock. They began collecting whooper eggs from nests in Canada and taking them to Gray's Lake National Wildlife Refuge in Idaho. The whooper eggs were placed in the nests of sandhill cranes. (Removing one egg did not affect growth of the wild flock since whoopers normally lay two eggs but usually raise only one chick successfully.) The sandhill crane foster parents hatched and raised 4 whooper chicks in 1975. They taught the young whoopers to find food and to avoid predators such as coyotes and eagles. In the fall, the sandhills led the chicks on an 850-mile migration to the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. The young whoopers returned to Gray's Lake in the spring but by 2002, the number of Whooping Cranes in this new Rocky Mountain population was down to zero.


Eric Kowalczyk
Seattle, WA

----- Original Message -----
From: Mike & MerryLynn
To: inland-nw-birders at uidaho.edu;Tweeters
Sent: 10/11/2010 8:34:52 PM
Subject: [Tweeters] White Crane over Ice Harbor Dam

Ice Harbor Dam

Western Grebe.........30 birds
Lesser Scaup............2
Sandhill Cranes.........50 birds all headed to the southwest
WHITE CRANE,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,1ad. bird, in with the Sandhill Cranes. This bird was 2500' up and we were able to get this flock in our scopes as they circled. This is when we could see the white body, wings and long neck. The black primaries were very clear, We stood there in awe and watched as this bird circled with the Sandhills. From our perspective it looked about the same size as the Sandhills it was with. We first detected these cranes from the Sandhills calling as they crossed the Snake River.the only species we considered is Whooping Crane. This white crane was in the lead position until the flock began to break up as they circled after crossing the Snake River off to our west and south. We called and alerted Nancy LaFramboise at McNarY NWR, HQ. This was a crane and not a white pelican, snow goose or any egret species. The black primaries were clear.

Well that is it for now. Sure would like to know where that white crane ends up.
Later Mike Denny

Mike & MerryLynn Denny
Birding the beautiful Walla Walla Valley

"If you haven't birded, you haven't lived"

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