Monday, October 27, 2014

Pelican or Whooping Crane...You Decide

For all who know me or have read my blog,  know how fascinated I am with the Whooping Crane.  I have written about them many times.  I follow their migration every year from Wisconsin to Florida.  I have seen them in person following the ultralight aircraft, but I have never seen them out on their own in the wild.

Yesterday I thought that had changed.  I was sitting outside at our daughters new house with Piper the grand dog.  My husband was busy finishing up a drywall project he was helping them with.  My dad was along and sitting in the living room listening to a book.  The weather was so perfect.  I looked up and saw some beautiful white birds flying around overhead.  I tried to take some photos.  They were quite high, and I thought they were probably sandhill cranes.  The sandhill cranes have become quite light in color this time of year.  In the summer the sandhill cranes are a rusty color which they apply to themselves with sand.  When I got home, I put the photos on the computer.  I got so excited, I thought the photos looked like Whooping Cranes.  A week or so previous, five Whooping Cranes from the Class of 2013 were spotted in Fond du lac county Wisconsin.  I was just a few miles from the county line.  Here are some of the photos I took. 

I wanted to be sure so I sent my photos to Operation Migration.  They told me they were NOT whooping cranes.  They were white Pelicans.  Now I'm not a professional, and I haven't devoted my life to stop the extinction of the whooping crane....but these don't look like pelicans to me.  I have seen tons of pelicans in our area.  They are white, and they do have black on their wings, but they have a much different head.  Pelicans don't have a long neck.

 So I don't want to question the professionals or be a sassy old lady, but I choose to think I saw five whooping cranes. Does believing hard enough make it true?  It works for Santa.

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