Myself and all of the residents of the great state of Louisiana received an early Christmas gift this past week. We welcomed our 4th group of whooping cranes last Wednesday, December 11th. This new group consists of 10 individual birds (7 males and three females). I was fortunate to be involved in both the arrival day activities and banding process of the birds. Each of the birds receives colored leg bands and a transmitter in order to help monitor their movements across the Louisiana landscape. This means that each bird must be individually captured and hand carried to the banding station set up within the pen area; the birds are currently under a top-netted acclimation pen until their release into the wild. The release date is set for later this month.
What an experience to work with these magnificent animals and to know you are assisting with one of the world's most endangered crane species!
I know you can't tell it's me carrying the crane in the attached picture, but I promise you it is!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to each of you...and remember endangered means there is still time!