It perhaps bears repeating that these birds would not be "countable" on state or life (or county lists). This restriction only applies if you are submitting numbers to the ABA or MOU, for example. I went to Silver Lake in Rochester some years ago to see a Smew. I did so with the knowledge that I could not count the bird on the state, year, county and life lists I maintain. I will, however have the memory of that strikingly beautiful bird forever. If birds are known not to be countable (in the case of the Smew, it was a known escaped bird), it would be helpful to especially newer birders to have that information. Whooping Cranes in SE MN have been from the Necedah flock that is not yet considered established, i.e. not able to sustain itself in the wild. The hope is that one year, the efforts to reestablish this birds on the eastern flyway migration route will result in a wild flock. Since I hope to see my life Whooping Cranes in Texas (or western MN, provided there's no evidence they're from the WI group) I've chosen not to travel to Rice County. If you know all this and want to see this magnificent pair of birds, I hope you are able to get great memories from your visit.
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