Whooping Crane Sighting May, 2015

Very Rare Whooping Crane observed in Kent County

A Whooping Crane was first reported to the GRAC website on Thursday, May 14, 2015 by Rob Vink. Rob gave a detailed description that left little doubt to the identification of the bird. He found the crane in a field near the intersection of 76th St. SE and Hanna Lake Ave. On Friday, May 15, Carol and Fred VanOeveren were lucky enough to find the bird in the area Rob described. Carol and Fred observed the bird in a field north of 76th St. approximately 0.6 mi. west of Hanna Lake Ave. Click on any of the photos below for a larger image.



The crane had colored bands on both legs. The colors on the left leg are green, white, red (top to bottom). The colors on the right leg are white, green (top to bottom).  The band colors were reported to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

>>Update: Based on the band colors, the crane has been identified as "Lily", a three year old male. According to Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership; "Reports of a crane in Osceola County, Florida, on 18 January, (2015) and 2 and 15 February were likely of this bird. The bird remained in Osceola County, Florida, through at least last report on 5 March. He was next reported at his previous summering location in LaPorte County, Indiana, on 28, 29 and 30 March. He wandered up to Kent County, Michigan for a while. He was last seen in Steuben Co, Indiana on 7 June."

>>Update 2016: Male #14-12 (Lily) and female #27-14 were seen associating frequently in LaPorte Co, IN in March 2016. It remains to be seen whether they will continue to migrate together. It appears they migrated north together, with #14-12 taking parent-reared #27-14 with him to a location around Grand Rapids, Michigan, where they were reported in early April.

>>Update 2017: Numerous observers reported the bird in Lenawee County, Michigan during June 2017. Additional sightings continued into the month of November (photo). A photograph was included in Richard Fanning's November 2nd eBird report.

>>Update 2018: Male #14-12 (Lily) was reported back in Lenawee County in early April by Jessica Decker. An eBird report by Matthew and Marceen Gasperoni included this photo.

>>Update 2019: “Lily,” male #14-12, again returned to the Schoonover WPA area in Lenawee Co this spring. He was observed by Kirk Ludman in a field near the intersection of Packard Rd and M-156 displaying for a Sandhill Crane on May 18.

>>Update 2020: “Lily” returned to Lenawee Co Mar 24 in the vicinity of the former DeMor Hills Golf Course (Ranger Highway and Lime Creek Road). This is just southwest of the bird’s location last year (Packard Road and Morey Highway M-156).

>>Update 2021: “Lily” again returned to the area of the old DeMor Hills Golf Course along Ranger Highway south of Lime Creek Road in Lenawee County on March 18.

>>Update 2022: “Lily” again returned to the old DeMor Hills Golf Course area along Ranger Highway south of Lime Creek Road in Lenawee County on March 14. Click here for Steve Drake’s checklist with photos

Crane Information

International Crane Foundation website