Fall Migration Underway
Fall migration of the only natural wild population of whooping cranes is underway. The Whooping Crane migration from Wood Buffalo to Aransas NWR is about 2,500 miles in length and can take as many as 50 days to complete. The flock is expected to migrate through Nebraska, North Dakota and other states along the Central Flyway over the next several weeks. The Wildlife Fish and Game and Parks agencies along the flyway encourage the public to report any whooping crane sightings.
If you should observe a whooping crane as they migrate along the Central Flyway, please report them to the proper agencies. We have compiled a list of agencies and contact information below. If you need help with identification, please click on our Whooper Identification page.
MT Fish, Wildlife, & Parks
1420 East Sixth Avenue
Helena, MT 59620
MT Fish, Wildlife, & Parks
2300 Lake Elmo Drive
Billings, MT 59105
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service offices at Lostwood, (701-848-2466)
National wildlife refuges
North Dakota Game and Fish Department in Bismarck, (701-328-6300) or to local game wardens
Eileen Dowd Stukel; firstname.lastname@example.org; (605-773-4229)
Casey Heimerl; (605-773-4345)
Natalie Gates; Natalie_Gates@fws.gov; (605-224-8793), ext. 227
Jay Peterson; Jay_Peterson@fws.gov; (605-885-6320), ext. 213
Nebraska Game and Parks (402-471-0641)
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (308-379-5562)
The Crane Trust’s Whooper Watch hotline (888-399-2824)
Emails may be submitted to email@example.com
Whooping Crane sightings at or near Quivira NWR should be reported to:
Quivira National Wildlife Refuge
They can also be reported to this email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sightings can be logged online here
Endangered Species Biologist
Wildlife Diversity Biologist
Texas Whooper Watch also has a project in I-Naturalist that is now fully functional. You can find it here. You can report sightings directly in I-Naturalist via your Smart Phone. This allows you to easily provide photo verification and your location.
If you are not a smart phone app user, you can still report via email: email@example.com or phone: (512-389-999). Please note that our primary interest is in reports from outside the core wintering range.
Do not disturb and why reporting is important
Should you see a whooping crane, please do not get close or disturb it. Keep your distance and make a note of date, time, location, and what the whooping crane is doing. If the whooping crane is wearing bands or a transmitter, please note the color(s) and what leg(s) the bands are on.
You may wonder why the wild life agencies are asking for these sightings to be reported. The reports are very helpful in gathering data and information on when and where the whooping cranes stopover, what type of habitat they are choosing, and how many there are.
With just over 500 wild whooping cranes migrating along the Central Flyway, odds are low of seeing a wild whooping crane. However, FOTWW hopes that someone reading this article will be one of the lucky few and if you are, please report your sighting so that these agencies and other conservation groups, including FOTWW can continue helping these magnificent cranes.
***** FOTWW’s mission is to help preserve and protect the Aransas/Wood Buffalo
population of wild whooping cranes and their habitat. *****
Friends of the Wild Whoopers is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization.
5 thoughts on “Whooping Crane Fall Migration – 2019”
Thanks to Friends of the Wild Whoopers for making this information available about Whooping Crane migration and who to contact. Whooping Cranes are endangered species and need all the helpful attention they can get.
Twelve very large birds flying high over Marana, Arizona yesterday, they looked like cranes and were heading SE, are they possibly cranes? Took pictures but they were to far up and then went behind clouds. Can’t see in photo
The birds that you saw may well have been cranes. With them being so high in the sky, I am sure it was difficult to tell for sure. Perhaps next time you see some cranes, they will not be soaring so high up.
Thank you for writing us.
I saw 5 cranes in a corn field outside of Brookville, Ohio on 12/17/19 at 5:00 pm
Sighted 12-15 large white birds at an altitude of 1000-2000 ft over Liberty Township in Adams County, Ohio, 12-19-2019 at approximately 3:20 P.M. Their calls were plainly audible and I have no doubt that they were Whooping Cranes.