Trip and Whooper

Okay, the trip info isn't up on the Preferred Adventures site, but will be up soon. I probably should have checked that first, but I am so excited I jumped the gun. Info will be ready next week and will of course be on this site.

Here's an email on the Minnesota Whooping Crane:

I went to go see the Whooping Crane in Todd County this morning. I drove around a bit, and luckily a Whooping Crane isn't hard to miss. I found the bird west of Swanville about 1/2 mile south of CR 104. First and foremost, they are magnificent birds, so seeing the bird was an amazing experience, especially watching it preen and extend its wings out to stretch. Unfortunately the bird was banded, most likely meaning it came from the Wisconsin flock, and thus not countable. Anyway, it had two bands on its left leg-red and white, and three bands on its right leg-orange, green, orange.

Ben Fritchman
Fargo, ND

For those who aren't familiar with "countable" and "not countable" these are terms birders use when trying to figure out how many birds someone has seen on their list. Some species aren't "officially" countable. For example, I live in Minnesota and if a parakeet showed up at my feeder, it wouldn't be countable because it would more than likely be an escaped pet. Here is a list of the ABA Guidelines. The whooping crane falls under this guideline:

(iv) An indigenous species which is reintroduced into an historic range of the species may be counted when the population meets the ABA Checklist's definition of being established or when it is not possible to reasonably separate the reintroduced individuals from naturally occurring individuals.

The whooping crane in Minnesota is banded and is probably one of the Wisconsin flock which is not considered an established flock yet. Some may be rolling their eyes at all these rules and regulations for birding, but hey this is what makes it fun for some people to make birdwatching a challenge. Most who go by these guidelines also follow the ABA Code of Birding Ethics so what's the harm in turning birding into a challenge?