We went back to the place where we spotted the Whooping Crane yesterday to see if she was still there. She was and here she is! (**I have since learned this is female #16-10 - part of last year's Operation Migration program.)
This crane must be a graduate from the Operation Migration program to re-introduce cranes born in captivity to the wild. In the 1940's, the cranes numbered around a dozen. Today there are over 500. Operation Migration teaches the cranes to migrate by leading them from Wisconsin to Florida with an ultralight aircraft. (See blog entry of Jan 14, 2011).
There were quite a few Sandhill Cranes in the area and 3 more flew in while we watched.
I wanted to make sure I had some decent shots of his leg bands and radio transmitter. Our sighting has been reported to the Fish and Wildlife Service.
Another beautiful bird, a Bald Eagle, flew over while we were there.
There was even a Graylag Goose!