OMAHA WORLD HERALD

Volunteers to watch for cranes

Oct 12, 2010 | Omaha World Herald by David Hendee | Related Press

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Two training sessions are scheduled for volunteers to help watch this fall for migrating whooping cranes in Nebraska. The first free, one-hour session is at 9 a.m. Tuesday at the Crane Trust. The other is at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Nebraska Nature and Visitor Center. Both locations are near Alda, seven miles west of Grand Island. The center is at Interstate 80 exit 305; the Crane Trust is south and east of the exit.

The entire wild population of endangered whooping cranes begins migrating from Canada to Texas wintering grounds near the Gulf of Mexico during the first weeks of October.

Crane Trust biologists expect an estimated 263 adults and 46 chicks to stop and rest briefly on wetlands in the Dakotas, Nebraska and the southern plains before finishing the 5,000-mile migration journey.

“Migration is one of the most important events for the survivorship of the species,” said Dr. Karine Gil. “Many of them die during spring or fall migration.”

Gil said people who enjoy being outdoors, whether bird-watching or driving to work, can be instrumental in watching for the reclusive birds and saving the species.

For more information, contact Gil at 1-888-399-2824 or send an e-mail to kgil@whoopingcrane.org.

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