Great news! Not only have the first cranes arrived at Necedah National Wildlife Refuge (16-04 and his young miss, 4-09, see post script), but the first 2010 DAR bird returned to the refuge last week on Friday!!
The program was a success for Roquefort P. Crane, or 21-10, when he returned to Necedah with his adult mentors, 5-05 and 15-04. They left Hiwassee Refuge, Tennessee, around Mid February. They were next reported in mid-Kentucky at the end of February, and they were next seen in Jackson Co, Indiana, on March first. They made the final legs of their journey during the second week of March to arrive at Necedah NWR on March 11th.
Last week was still very chilly in Wisconsin. Richard reported when he saw the birds that there was a good snow cover over the ground and much of the water was still frozen. This week is looking a little better with temperatures getting up to 60 degrees. With these warmer temperatures we should see more and more cranes pouring into Necedah and the surrounding areas.
I will catch a flight back to Wisconsin this Saturday, so I'll be able to track the birds returning from their winter sojourns in the south. I can't wait to start tracking regularly, again!
P.S. Aubrey, former fellow DAR intern, noted that it was a little funny that 16-04 and 4-09 were the last to leave in the fall, and the first to arrive in the spring. She and Richard were still tracking them down in the bitter, snowy end of November, and now Richard has the pleasure of tracking them down in the blustery, snowy beginning of march.