STATE WILDLIFE BIOLOGISTS MONITORING MIGRATION OF SANDHILL CRANES
FROM GEAUGA COUNTY
Migration Tracking Site
COLUMBUS, OH – Wildlife biologists from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife recently placed transmitters on two sandhill cranes that spent the summer in Geauga County in order to monitor their movements as they fly south for the winter.
An adult female crane, which has nested near Chardon for more than three years, was tagged with a satellite transmitter that enables biologists to follow her movements anywhere. An immature young crane (or “colt”) from the area received a VHF transmitter that sends a signal to anyone with an appropriate receiver located within a mile of the bird. Biologists will track the bird when it returns in the spring after it separates from its parents.
Biologists are attempting to determine if these cranes pass through or end their migration in the same area of Tennessee where radio-tagged cranes from the Wayne-Holmes county area have wintered in the past. One of the Wayne County birds was tracked to the Hiawassee Wildlife Refuge in Tennessee. However, due to the limited range of the tracking device, it is unknown if the bird stayed there or flew farther south, possibly into Tennessee or Mississippi.
Biologists hope to gather data that will help them better understand the birds’ migration routes, as well as the dates and lengths of migration. They should begin their southern migration in November. The adult female is expected to return to Geauga County next spring as she has in previous years. It is hoped that the colt will return, as well.
Visitors to the division’s website at www.wildohio.com will be able to follow the progress of the sandhill cranes’ migration.
This year, 22 young cranes fledged from 16 Ohio nests, marking the highest number of young fledglings in the state to date.
For Further Information Contact:
Dave Sherman, ODNR Division of Wildlife
Vicki Ervin, ODNR Division of Wildlife