The Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership offers this guidance re : What to do if You See Whooping Cranes http://www.bringbackthecranes.org/what2do.html
"Should you be fortunate enough to encounter these birds, use extreme caution in observing the cranes and do not attempt to approach them. Joe Duff, the project's lead ultralight pilot, said it best during a recent interview: 'Although we take special precautions to ensure these birds are reared in isolation from human contact, they are still far from wild. Their return to nature takes place over months but could be destroyed by one curious onlooker. Despite good intentions the best thing an observer could do for these birds and this project is to observe from a distance. The worst thing you could do is attempt to feed them. '
Each exposure lessens the whooping cranes' natural fear of humans, which is an important survival mechanism. Feeding the whooping cranes can result in the birds becoming dependent on humans as a source of food. Both would negate the many long hours biologists, veterinarians, pilots and volunteers endured in hot costumes and silence while raising and caring for these whooping cranes.
As the population of this reintroduced flock increases, sightings are more common. Interested citizens can best show their support by respecting the delicate balance in which this flock must survive and getting their updates through this website or one of the project partners' websites."
They would appreciate reports of whooping crane sightings on their online website at http://www.fws.gov/midwest/whoopingcrane/sightings/sightingform.cfm
For more information about whooping cranes, see the main WCEP website
Reg. Nongame Wildlife Specialist, CWB (r)
MN DNR Southern Region
Div. of Ecological & Water Resources
261 Hwy 15 South
New Ulm, MN 56073
phone: (507) 359-6033
fax: (507) 359-6018
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