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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes

Muscatatuck NWR Staff Partner to Promote Community Birding Weekend

Region 3, February 23, 2013

The Muscatatuck NWR Park Ranger partnered with DNR and local Visitor Bureau and Chamber of Commerce staff to promote a "Bird Jackson County" weekend celebrating the presence of sandhill cranes and bald eagles. Sandhill cranes have been wintering in the Jackson County area for a number of years, and this February the birds were widespread in Jackson County in record numbers. Since the best crane viewing areas were not on Muscatatuck NWR, the Refuge Park Ranger and the Starve Hollow DNR Naturalist gave guided van tours of crane feeding areas (and three eagle nests)on Saturday along public roads in good viewing areas. Self-guided crane tour maps were available at the DNR and FWS Visitor Centers and Visitor Bureaus. Children's crane crafts also took place at the two Visitor Centers during the day on Saturday. Overall several hundred people took advantage of the opportunity to view cranes during the weekend, and there was excellent local newspaper coverage of a exceptional migratory spectacle.

Contact Info: Larry Dean, 612-713-5312, Larry_Dean@fws.gov