Nebraska Ornithologists' Union


Date of this Version



Wayne J. Mollhoff, “Whooping Cranes in Blaine County,” from Nebraska Bird Review (September 1986) 54(3).


Copyright 1986 Nebraska Ornithologists’ Union. Used by permission.


On 7 April 1986 John Manning, of Norfolk, and I observed a pair of Whooping Cranes (Grus americana) in southeastern Blaine County, about 20 miles west of Taylor. I was notified by a local rancher, who found them while feeding his cattle that morning. John and I were guided to where the birds were feeding in a field. We observed them from about 1400 to 1500 hours as they fed leisurely. About 1500 hours they took off and flew out of sight, heading toward the Middle Loup River. They were found again in the same field about 1745 and observed until about 1915 hours, when they went to roost. The pair was kept under observation the next day by Greg Wingfield, a biologist from the Game and Parks Commission. They spent that night in a marshy area about half a mile northwest of the field where they fed. On the 9th they were observed taking off about 1100 hours, catching a rising thermal and flying off to the north.