North American Crane Working Group


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King, S.L., A.R. Pierce, K.R. Hersey, and N. Winstead. Migration patterns and movements of sandhill cranes wintering in central and southwestern Louisiana. In: Hartup, Barry K., ed., Proceedings of the Eleventh North American Crane Workshop, Sep 23-27, 2008, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin (Baraboo, WI: North American Crane Working Group, 2010), pp. 57-61.


Reproduced by permission of the North American Crane Working Group.


In this study we trapped wintering sandhill cranes (Grus canadensis) in Louisiana and fitted them with satellite transmitters to determine their migration routes. Four of the 6 sandhill cranes with validated locations and a terminus point used the Central Flyway for spring migration; 2 of these 4 (the only 2 for which we have data) also used the Central Flyway for fall migration. Two of the 6 birds used the Mississippi Flyway for spring migration. The results of this study suggest that reintroduced whooping cranes (G. americana) that intermix and migrate with sandhill cranes that winter in Louisiana may enter the Central Flyway. In addition, the Mississippi Flyway is a viable option to use as a migration route for whooping cranes if they are reintroduced in Louisiana.