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Sandhill Cranes Choose Choice Habitat in Florida As New Winter Home - With Help

Sandhill Crane chicks were taught to fly from Wisconsin to Florida by following an ultralight aircraft. Humans (disguised as Cranes) taught young Cranes a migration route which proved successful last year. They now stake out choice habitat - Glen Lakes Golf and Country Club in Weeki Wachee, Florida, which borders on the Chassahowitazka National Wildlife Refuge.


Recent arrivals enjoy Glen Lakes Golf and Country Club, bordering on the Chassahowitazka National Wildlife Refuge. Photo courtesy Betty S. Gavin, Weeki Wachee, FL.
Rare Whooping Crane. (Dr. Christopher M. Perrins, Consultant-in-Chief, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Birds, New York: Prentice Hall Press, 1991, p. 123, artist Robert Gillmore)

The aircraft technique is now being tried on the severely endangered Whooping Crane.

The larger and very rare American Whooping Crane is now attempting to migrate with human help to Florida, using the same technique.

Back from near extinction, the Whooping Crane is being trained to migrate to Southeast America. Track their progress on the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership website.

The most endangered bird species in North America, the Whooping Crane has previously wintered only in Texas. Numbers were once as low as 15 or 16 birds in existance; now hovering at about 150.


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