What a treat! Last week, I saw my third Whooping Crane in three years in Michigan.
Spotted with a group of Sandhill Cranes, the Whooping Crane has been seen consistently for the past week at Chelsea, Michigan lake, flying in with the Sandhill Cranes around dusk to forage for food in the shallow lake waters.
County Record for Washtenaw County
As you might imagine, the birding community and photographer community are abuzz with news and photos of the bird.
It set a first-county record in Washtenaw County!
According to the International Crane Foundation, the Whooping Crane I saw in Chelsea, Michigan was hatched in the wild.
Named American Pharaoh, the crane also known by its number 77-18, was parent-raised in the wild.
It’s part of the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership to re-establish Whooping Cranes in the eastern United States.
People dressed as adult cranes along with ultralight aircraft as guides. The partnership raised the young cranes and taught them the migratory route to Florida.
From what I learned on the International Crane Foundation website, American Pharaoh was released at White River Marsh in eastern Wisconsin.
I was thrilled to see American Pharaoh this month, he’s the closest I’ve seen any of the Whooping Cranes in Michigan.
In the past couple years, I’ve only seen the Whooping Cranes way out in the cornfields, 1/4 to 1/2 mile away.
Hope he sticks around for a while!