Saturday, April 12 marks the 39th Annual Midwest Crane Count. Begun in 1976 by the International Crane Foundation, the survey represents one of the largest citizen-based wildlife surveys in the world. Each year, over 2,000 volunteer counters travel to their local wetlands and favorite birding locations to participate in the count which now spans over 100 counties in six states (Wisconsin, portions of Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and Indiana).
You can help! Volunteer counters are still needed to survey cranes on designated sites throughout Door County from 5:30 – 7:30 AM on April 12. No previous experience is necessary. Interested individuals should contact Brian Forest at 920-839-2802 or firstname.lastname@example.org for information and data forms. If you live in one of the other states or counties, visit www.cranecount.org to find your County Coordinator.
Aldo Leopold referred to the unique call of the crane as “the trumpet in the orchestra of evolution.” Sandhill Cranes have a fossil history of 10 million years. Although once on the brink of extinction in the Upper Midwest, these majestic migratory birds have recovered successfully. Observations of the now abundant cranes can lend insight into the endangered crane species of the world and the natural environments on which they depend.
ICF has partnered with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society’s www.ebird.org program, a real-time, on-line birding checklist and database. This on-line program has revolutionized the way birding communities report and access information about birds and their distribution across North America. All observations made on April 12 will be entered into eBird, helping ICF continue to head towards a “paperless” process.