DECATUR – Nine Whooping Cranes, wintering at Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge finally left today on their northward trek, according to a report by Operation Migration. The Cranes, among the rarest species of birds in the world, had been at Wheeler since early February when they had been taken there by conservationists. They were placed in the refuge because, due to a warmer than usual winter, and problems with the FAA, Operation Migration members could not guide them to their planned wintering spot in South Florida.
On their website, Heather Ray, the Canada based communications person said, “Two more conversations with Brooke followed the first. During the second call he said that at 9:40am, the birds had taken flight and were currently higher than he has ever seen them. He felt today could indeed be THE day.
The second phone call came at 11am when he announced ‘They’re gone – I watched them thermal and climb higher and higher for the past hour and they’re now out of sight.”
See our related stories: Operation Migration – Restoring A 10,000 Year Old Route; Whooping Cranes On Their Way South; Whooping Cranes Thrive At Wheeler – Migration Update; Whooping Cranes To Live at Wheeler: A Distinct Possibility; Breaking News – Whooping Cranes Find Home