This fall we received a call from the Alder Flats area about a Sandhill Crane that had been living in with the landowners sheep flock for two weeks. He assumed it would fly south, but after two weeks he began to realize that something was wrong. As the bird followed the sheep flock he herded the animals into the barn hallway where the crane was caught much easier than chasing it through a field. The landowner was kind enough to drive it as far as Eckville where MRWC staff picked it up.
On exam at the Centre it was found to be a juvenile from this year and had a warm, swollen, infected hand of the wing. A short run on antibiotics and the bird was ready to go. Unfortunately, it is far too late in the year to release a young Sandhill Crane. We have a winter resident and will plan an April release right on our property.
MRWC resident Sandhill Cranes arrive back at our wetland precisely on April 8th each year. Releasing a youngster at that time will work perfectly as our wetland has plenty of territory for several cranes.