Whooping Crane Sightings

Whooper pair 3

This page summarizes the latest sightings of Whooping Cranes at or near Quivira.


 Page updated: 13 November 2018

The latest Whooping Crane news

Fall, 2018:  A single adult Whooping Crane was observed and photographed in Big Salt Marsh on October 5, 2018, representing the earliest fall migration on record (the previous early date was October 6).  A much larger than usual early movement of the birds through Quivira, with 47 recorded during October.

 Spring, 2018:  Spring migration at Quivira began with 11 adults seen on the west side of the Wildlife Drive on the morning of March 23.

Fall, 2017:  Reports of a single Whooping Crane occurred as early as late September in North Dakota.  A pair of adults was observed along the Wildlife Drive on October 19.  A very large push of migrants occurred during the October 31-November 2 period, with over 50 reported during the period.  As of November 28, the fall total for 2017 added up to 167, an even higher record than 2016's record occurrence!

Spring, 2017:  The first sighting was a group of 14 (12 adults, 2 juveniles) that was present on March 25-26.  The last were observed on April 11.  A total of 29 were observed during the season.

Fall, 2016:  The first sightings were of 2 adults in Big Salt Marsh on October 24.  The second largest single-day occurrence of Whooping Cranes happened at Quivira this fall on the morning of November 12, with 40 of them in the Big Salt Marsh area!  As of November 28, the season count was 110 (94 adults, 16 juveniles).  This is a record high for any season.

Spring, 2016:  The first sightings were of 4 adults the evening of 22 March (and an unconfirmed report of 29 birds in flight). A total of 19 were observed during the spring season, a rather low number.

Fall, 2015:  Fall migration began very early - in fact one of the earliest ever:  2 adult birds were found on October 10.  Only two other sightings in Quivira's history have been earlier:  the earliest ever of October 6, 2000, and October 9, 2004, respectively.  In mid-to-late October, one pair of adults stayed around for about 10 days.  A steady string of sightings occurred from November 9-18.  The last seen were on November 18.  A total of 61 birds were documented during the season.

Spring, 2015:  Spring migration northward from Texas began in mid-March, 2015, with the first sightings at Quivira late in the day on March 26 (any sightings in the Quivira area will be listed in the table below).  Average first arrival date in spring (during the last ten years) at Quivira is around March 19.  Peak occurrence dates are usually around the first week of April.  The last spring sighting was of 2 adults on April 12.

Fall, 2014:  Fall migration began this year with an appearance of 5 Whoopers (4 adults and 1 juvenile) in Big Salt Marsh on the morning October 29.  The last sighting was on November 12.  Over all, however, the fall migration was quick and uneventful, with only a total of 33 Whoopers sighted over the entire period.  This is the lowest fall number of observations in many years.  Reasons for these low numbers are not completely understood, but may have been caused by a very early cold spell (about a week straight of sub-freezing temperatures) during the first half of November.

Spring, 2014:  Spring migration began with a sighting of a family of 3 (2 adults and 1 juvenile) that stopped briefly in the Little Salt Marsh area on March 22.  The last birds were seen on April 4 (although a group of 3 birds were observed at Cheyenne Bottoms State Wildlife Area in early May).  A total of 30 were observed in the Quivira area during the spring migration, the lowest number in several years.

Fall, 2013:  A total of 65 Whooping Cranes were observed in fall migration 2013, with the first sighting on October 24 (one adult in the southwest corner of Big Salt Marsh, with a flock of Sandhill Cranes).  The last sighting was on November 23.

Spring, 2013:  Spring migration began earlier than usual in 2013, with a probable sighting of six birds on February 8, and six confirmed birds at Quivira on March 6.  Migration continued through March and most of April, with the last confirmed sighting of 3 (2A, 1 banded/radioed J) on the later-than-average date of April 22.  Most significantly, 2013 spring produced the second highest all-time number of confirmed sightings, with 75.

Fall, 2012:  Fall migration ended through the Great Plains by the end of November, with some birds having reached Texas by the last week of October.  The first whooping crane sighting at Quivira was a family group (2 adults, 1 juvenile) north of Big Salt Marsh on November 1.  One sighting of 3 birds was reported from Cheyenne Bottoms on or near October 23.  A fairly significant movement of Whooping Cranes occurred in the Quivira area during the period November 4-10, with several dozen being observed during the period.  As of November 28, a total of 73 Whooping Cranes had been reported in the Quivira area this fall: 63 adults and 10 juveniles.  This is one of the highest quantities ever recorded at Quivira during a season.  None were seen in the area after late November.

Spring, 2012:  The first spring sightings in 2012 occurred on Friday, 16 March, with 3 adults observed on the west side of the Wildlife Drive at 9:15 am.  The date is right at the average first arrival date for spring whoopers.  One highlight of the spring was the occurrence of a total of 19 whoopers on the morning of 29 March.  The last sighting was a pair of adults north of Big Salt Marsh on Sunday, April 8, but then a single adult was observed leaving Big Salt Marsh on the very late date of May 9!  A total of 47 whoopers were observed during the spring at Quivira.

There were unprecedented late December and January occurrences of Whooping Cranes in Kansas and Nebraska during the 2011-2012 winter season.  As many as 11 birds were seen in south-central Kansas, including a family of 2 adults and 1 juvenile. All sightings were sporadic of somewhat "nomadic" birds, occurring on both public and private land.  The same family group (or another - it is difficult to determine which) was observed in southern Nebraska in late January (also unprecedented).  Reasons for these occurrences are difficult to prove, but are possibly due to a combination of the ongoing drought in the southern Great Plains (making food more scarce) and the relatively mild winter.  The table below reflects only Quivira or near-Quivira observations.

 

General Whooping Crane information

Whooping Cranes occur regularly each fall at Quivira, from late October through the month of November.  Each fall season varies  in terms of the total number of cranes reported, but the average through the season is 30-40 birds.  Although sightings of 10-12 birds in one flock occur occasionally each year, most group sizes average 2-5 birds.  Most occur overnight and are gone from the area by mid-morning.  A few groups, or individuals, may stay a week or more before moving on.  Also, during some years a Whooping Crane may linger into December or into the new year.

Whoopers at BSM

 

Spring migration is typically not as dynamic, with the birds passing through the Quivira area quickly.  Sightings in spring are fewer, and of much shorter duration, than in the fall.  Nevertheless, the season is not without its history of surprises:  in spring 2010 a total of 76 Whooping Cranes were reported on the Refuge - on April 1 (no fooling)!


Whoopers in corn

The following table summarizes the most recent sightings.  These sightings are also reported on Kansas Listserv and on our Facebook site.

 

 Whooping Crane Confirmed Sightings at Quivira, fall 2011- present

 DateLocationRemarks
Fall 2018  
9 November 2018interior Wildlife Drive6:  6 adults (6:0) interior Wildlife Drive, 8:30 am; 3 of the birds were banded.  Only report 
9 November 2018interior Wildlife Drive17:  17, believed to all be adults (17:0), flying from interior Wildlife Drive, 9:00 am.  Only report.
4 November 2018flats north of NE 170th3:  3 adults (3:0), flats north of NE 170th, last reported 7:30 am.  Only report.  #18B-51
2 November 2018west shoreline Big Salt Marsh7:  7 adults (7:0), shoreline Big Salt Marsh, nw of scope corner, after 4:30 pm, 11/2; still present, same location, until last reported 11:10 am, 11/3.  #18B-50
2 November 2018flats north of NE 170th2:  2 adults (2:0), flats north of NE 170th, near dusk; no other report. #18B-15
1 November 2018Big Salt Marsh2:  2 adults (2:0), northwest Big Salt Marsh, 8:25 am, 11/1; last reported same location, 9:45.  #18B-46
1 November 2018west interior WD2:  2 adults (2:0), west-central Wildlife Drive, 8:25 am, 11/1, joined group of 8:1 a few minutes later; last reported same location, 9:45 am.  #18B-45
1 November 2018west interior WD9:  8 adults, 1 juvenile (8:1), west-central interior Wildlife Drive, 8:20 am, 11/1; last reported 9:45 am, same; joined by 2 adults in same general area.  #18B-44
1 November 2018north-central interior WD7:  7 adults (7:0), south and a little east of tank batteries along NE 170, 7:52 am; last reported same location 9:45 am. #18B-43
1 November 2018northeast interior WD2:  2 adults (2:0), northeast interior Wildlife Drive, 7:50 am; last reported 9:45 am, same location.   #18B-42
26-27 October 2018flats north of NE 170th St.2:  2 adults (2:0), flats north of NE 170th, 5:52 pm, 10/26; took flight from same location and flew south at 9:25 am, 10/27. #18B-38
25 October 2018flats north of NE 170th St.6:  6 adults (6:0), flats north of NE 170th, ne of tank battery, 7:55 am.  #18B-26
24 October 2018Unit 72:  2 adults (2:0), south end of Unit 7, 8:30 am; only sighting.  #18B-23
22 October 2028Little Salt Marsh2:  2 adults (2:0), southwest Little Salt Marsh, 9:20 am; last seen same, 10:40 am.  #18B-22
22 October 2018north-central interior Wildlife Drive2:  2 adults (2:0), flats within north-central Wildlife Drive, until late morning; only report.  #18B-21
20-21 October 2018west-central Big Salt Marsh4:  4 adults (4:0), on island in w-c BSM, 7:00 on 10/21; still present in west BSM and last reported at 9:45 am, 10/21.  #18B-19
20-21 October 2018west of Big Salt Marsh2:  2 adults (2:0), in grasslands west of BSM, 5:02 pm; still present and last reported in same location at 9:45 am on 10/21.  #18B-18
20 October 2018sw of Big Salt Marsh3:  3 Adults (3:0), flying south over Scenic Overlook along NE 140th (sw of BSM), 3:37 pm (only report).  #18B-20
19-20 October 2018flats north of NE 170th19:  19 adults (19:0), arrived on flats n of 170th in several groups starting at 4:30 pm on 10/19, joining group of 3 adults already present; combined group of 22 adults remained on flats until all were observed taking flight to the south at 10:45 am on 10/20.  #18B-16, 17
18-20 October 2018sw corner Big Salt Marsh3:  3 adults (3:0), first seen in sw BSM at 7:45 am, then flew southeast, then again north towards BSM; first thing on 10/19 they were on flats north of NE 170th, and later joined by 19 more adults late afternoon on 10/19; seen flying south as combined group of 22 at 10:45 on 10/20.  #18B-09
17-30 October 2018sw corner Big Salt Marsh1:  1 adult (1:0), within flock of Sandhill Cranes, southwest corner of Big Salt Marsh, 7:38 am; still present 8:15 am on 10/30 in sw BSM with Sandhills (last known sightings).  #18B-07
5 October 2018West side of Big Salt Marsh1:  1 adult (1:0), within flock of Sandhill Cranes, west side of Big Salt Marsh, 3:00 - 3:20 pm; photographed.  No other sightings.  #18B-01
Spring 2018  
12-13 April 2018Flats south of NE 170th4:  3 adults, 1 juvenile (3:1), flats south of NE 170th east of tank battery; first reported 4/12 at 6:56 pm; still present at 8:00 am on 4/13 
5 April 2018North Lake area12:  12 adults (12:0), North Lake; last observed 8:45 am
3-4 April 2018Unit 76:  6 adults (6:0), Unit 7; very windy period; not observed after 4/4 
23 March 2018Wildlife Drive, west side11:  11 adults (11:0), west side of Wildlife Drive, 10:00 am; photographed; flew north shortly afterwards
 Fall 2017  
17 November 2017North Lake area3:  3 adults (3:0), flying to land in area south of North Lake, 9:45 am; only sighting.  #17B-68.
16 November - 5 December 2017Flats n of NE 170th3:  2 adults, 1 juvenile (2:1), one adult with silver-over-green band on left leg, and green on right; seen first at near sunset on flats with below 2 groups to form group of 11:1; beginning 11/20, seen by itself (2:1) daily at first light on flats through 12/5 (last report), but leaving to feed elsewhere during day.  #17B-67
16-18 November 2017Flats n of NE 170th2:  2 adults (2:0) flats north of NE 170th, joined group of 7:0 (17B-64) and above group of 2:1 beginning near dusk on 11/16; present on flats and North Lake area until last seen flying sw from flats at 7:30 on 11/18.  #17B-75
16-18 November 2017W-C Wildlife Drive7:  7 adults (7:0), southwest and west interior Wildlife Drive, 11:30 am.  Present on flats and North Lake area 11/17.  Last seen flying with 2 other adults southwest on 11/18 at 7:30 am.  #17B-64
15 November 2017East BSM3:  3 adults (3:0, 1 possibly a juvenile), east Big Salt Marsh, whooper pad area; flew and joined with 5 below to form group of 8:0, and flew southwest.  Only sighting.  #17B-63
15 November 2017Unit 585:  5 adults (5:0), Unit 58, 4:00 pm, flew southwest.  Joined group of 5 (above).  Only sighting. #17B-62
15 November 2017South BSM2:  2 adults (2:0), south-central Big Salt Marsh, 7:30 am.  Only sighting. #17B-81
13 November 2017Flats north of NE 170th2:  1 adult, 1 juvenile (1:1), flats north of NE 170th, 11:30 am.  Only sighting.  #17B-66
13-15 November 2017Flats north of NE 170th3:  2 adults, 1 juvenile (2:1), flats north of NE 170th; one adult had a red/white band on right, radio on right; 7:03 am.  Last observed same area 7:15 am, 11/15.  #17B-65  
10 November 2017Flats north of NE 170th3:  2 adults, 1 juvenile (2:1), one adult with silver/green band on right, and radio/green band on left.  #17B-60
7 November 2017SW BSM1:  1 adult (1:0), southwest Big Salt Marsh, with sandhills, 7:46 am.  #17B-50.  Joined group of 8:2 from 11/6 to make a group 9:2.  Last observed 11/7.
6-8 November 2017sBSM4:  3 adults, 1 juvenile (3:1), south Big Salt Marsh, sunrise, joined group of 5:1 (17B-34c) to make a group 8:2.  The 2 families were last reported on 11/7, same area.  3 adults (17B-34d) remained and were last seen 11/8.  #17B-77  
6 November 2017Unit 20B3:  2 adults, 1 juvenile (2:1), Unit 20B, 7:40 am.  Only sighting.  #17B-49
4-5 November 2017LSM5:  4 adults, 1 juvenile (4:1), southwest BSM, 2:30 pm; last observed south end of Little Salt Marsh, 1:49 pm.  #17B-76
13-15 November 2017Unit 14A7:  5 adults, 2 juveniles (5:2), on wheat s and e of Unit 14A, first observed 8:08 am on 11/13; last observed 7:44 am, 11:15, same location.  #17B-80
12 November 2017Unit 14A2:  2 adults (2:0) on wheat se of Unit 14A at 8:46 am; flew se at 11:20 am.  No other reports.  #17B-79
11-12 November 2017Unit 14A1:  1 adult (1:0) joined group in 14A; this made the group number 10:2.  Seen on flats on 11/12.  #17B-78
6 November 2017Unit 14A12:  12 adults (12:0), flying south from the area of 14A, 7:20 am.  Only sighting.  #17B-48
6-9 November 2017Unit 14A3:  2 adults, 1 juvenile (2:1), unit 14A/wheat, joined combined group of 18, making a group of 21 (16:5).  Last reported 11/9.  #17B-47
5-12 November 2017Unit 14A3:  3 adults (3:0), unit 14A/wheat, joined combined group of 15,  making a group of 18 (14:4).  Last reported 11/12 on flats.  #17B-46
4-9 November 2017Unit 14A3:  2 adults, 1 juvenile (2:1), Unit 14A (joined group of 6 + 3 on wheat), combining to form a group of 15 (11:4).  Last reported 14A on 11/9.  #17B-45b.
4-12 November 2017Unit 14A3:  2 adults, 1 juvenile (2:1), joined 14A/wheat group, combining to form a group of 12 (9:3).  Juvenile had white band.  Last reported on flats n of NE 170th on 11/12 with a 9:1 combination.  #17B-45a    
3-12 November 2017Unit 14A3:  2 adults, 1 juvenile (2:1), joined group of six on wheat from day before, forming a group of 9 (7:2); seen on flats on 11/12.  #17B-41
2-12 November 2017Unit 14A6:  5 adults, 1 juvenile (5:1), Unit 14A, 7:30 am; combined with other groups over several days (see above).  Family 2:1 last observed 1/6. Two adults from this group observed last 11/7-12 (on flats on 11/12).  #17B-36
2-4 November 2017Flats north of NE 170th7:  6 adults, 1 juvenile (6:1), joined combined group of 35 (see below) on flats at noon. forming combined group of 35:7. They flew south at 9:40 am.  Only 3 (2:1) remained 11/3-4.  No other reports.  #17B-39
1-8 November 2017Flats north of NE 170th15:  11 adults, 4 juveniles (11:4), flats north of NE 170th St., first at 5:30 pm, 11/1; last seen 9:00 am, 11/2, combining with 20 birds (see below) to form a combined group of 29:6.  This and the group of 9 (8:1) and 3 (2:1) from the group of 11, were in south BSM on 11/3.  All 15 (11:4) remained on 11/3.  Nine birds (6:3) last seen 11/4.  Only 6 (5:1) remained on 11/5.  A portion was still seen on 11/8 (17B-34d).  #17B-34
31 October - 4 November 2017Flats north of NE 170th11:  10 adults, 1 juvenile (10:1), first reported 6:30 pm, 10/31, joining group of 9 in same area to form a combined group 18:2; later combining with more (see above); 8 adults of this group not seen on 11/3; only the family of 3 (2:1) was reported on 11/3 in south BSM; a family remained 11/3 (2:1); last report.  #17B-27
31 October - 4 November 2017Flats north of NE 170th9:  8 adults, 1 juvenile (8:1), first reported 3:00 pm, 10/31; last reported same location with combined groups (see other entries above), 9:00 am, 11/2.  This group combined with 3 (2:1) group of 11 and the group of 15 in south BSM on 11/3.  Only 6 adults (6:0) remained on 11/4, moved to south BSM; last reported.  #17B-26
2 November 2017Little Salt Marsh10:  9 adults, 1 juvenile (9:1), wetland on west side of Little Salt Marsh; last observed 12:10 pm, 11/2; only report.  #17B-40
4 November 2017south BSM5:  5 adults (5:0), joined combined group from flats on 11/4 (5:0).  #17B-61
2 November 2017South BSM2:  2 adults (2:0), south end of Big Salt Marsh, 7:35 am; only sighting.  #17B-35
31 October - 1 November 2017West BSM2:  2 adults (2:0), west side of Big Salt Marsh, 6:30 pm; same location, last 11:00 am, 11/1.  #17B-28
31 October - 2 November 2017Wildlife Drive3:  2 adults, 1 juvenile (2:1), southwest corner of interior Wildlife Drive; last observed on west interior WD at 8:00 am, 11/2.  #17B-19
31 October - 2 November 2017Wildlife Drive3:  2 adults, 1 juvenile (2:1), southeast corner of interior Wildlife Drive; last observed, same location at 7:45 am, 11/2.  #17B-20
31 October - 1 November 2017Big Salt Marsh3:   3 adults (3:0), southwest corner of Big Salt Marsh; last observed 8:30 am; moved to south end Little Salt Marsh, 2:00 pm; last seen 11/1, 11:00 am.  #17B-21
30 October 2017Scenic Overlook2:  2 adults (2:0) flying over Scenic Overlook sw of Big Salt Marsh along NE 140th Street, 5:00 pm.; only sighting.  #17B-18
25 October 2017Big Salt Marsh1:  1 adult (1:0) in southwest corner of Big Salt Marsh in flock of Sandhill Cranes; last seen 8:15.  Only sighting.  #17B-12
22 October 2017Big Salt Marsh3: 3 adults (3:0) in the southwest corner of Big Salt Marsh; only sighting.  #17B-10
19-21 October 2017Wildlife Drive2:  2 adults (2:0) seen on the east interior Wildlife Drive at 3:40 am.  Observed in same area on 10/20.  Last observed nw of Quivira on private land on 10/21.  #17B-07
 Spring 2017  
10-11 April 2017NE 170th St.3:  3 adults (3:0) on flats north of NE 170th St., ne of the tank batteries, at 7:15 am; still present 8:00 am on 11 April; last reported 9:30 am 
5-6 April 2017HQ and SE of HQ8:  7 adults and 1 juvenile, first seen in crop stubble about 2 mi. se of Headquarters at dusk on 5 April; seen 1/2 mile south of jct Raymond and 4th Avenue at 8:30 on 6 April, then flying north over HQ at 11:15 am same day
3-6 April 2017NE 170th St4:  4 adults first seen 6:30 pm 3 April on flats north of NE 170th (tern pads); flew east about 7:00 to flats northeast of tank batteries; still present at 7:30 am, 4 April; same four were seen at 9:00 am on 6 April on flats again, but not present at 11:15 that same morning 
25-26 March 2017NE 170th Street14:  12 adults, 2 juveniles in a loose group, first seen 7:30 am on the flats north of NE 170th on 3/25; last observed in the grasslands northwest of the tern pads, then flying north, at 12:30 pm on 3/26
Fall 2016  
4 December 2016NE 170th Street1:  1 adult (1:0) flying over NE 170th Street in the vicinity of North Lake, 7:00 am.
25 November 2016Little Salt Marsh2:  2 adults (2:0), southeast corner of Little Salt Marsh, 8:00 am; last observed same area 9:40 am
24 November 2016Unit 633:  2 adults, 1 juvenile (2:1), first seen flying from East Lake, then landing in the south end of Unit 63 at 7:40 am (last observation)
21-23 November 2016Little Salt Marsh3:  2 adults, 1 juvenile (2:1) west side of Little Salt Marsh, 9:00 am, still present 9:55 am, combined with the 1:1 group (see below) and with them unless last observed 7:00 am on 23 November in LSM
21 November 2016Big Salt Marsh3:  2 adults, 1 juvenile (2:1) west side of Big Salt Marsh, 8:00 am; last observed at 9:15 am
20 November 2016Little Salt Marsh1:  1 adult (1:0) with Sandhill Cranes, west side of Little Salt Marsh, 10:30 am.
20-23 November 2016Big Salt Marsh2:  1 adult, 1 juvenile (1:1); west side of Big Salt Marsh, 8:00 am; observed flying south at 9:50 am; observed in Little Salt Marsh on 21 November, with a 2:1 family group; last observed 7:00 am 23 November in LSM
18 November 2016North Lake3:  3 adults (3:0) flew from west of North Lake and flew south, 6:55 am; believed to have joined a larger group seen flying out of the same area about a half hour later
17-18 November 2016Flats north of NE 170th St.2:  2 adults (2:0), in flats just nw of bridge along NE 170th St. at 4:15 pm on 11/17; joined a group of 10 adults and a juvenile west of North Lake near dusk; observed flying south from North Lake at around 7:30 am on 11/18
17-18 November 2016Big Salt Marsh area2:  2 adults (2:0), first seen in sw BSM at 4:15 pm on 11/17; joined the group of 6 adults (see below) briefly, then followed them northeast a few minutes after the 6 flew to west of North Lake; observed flying south from North Lake area with other adults at 7:30 am on 11/18
17 November 2016Big Salt Marsh area1:  1 adult (1:0) with a flock of several hundred Sandhill Cranes, west of the nw corner of Big Salt Marsh, 5:15 pm on 11/17
17 November 2016Flats north of NE 170th St.3:  2 adults, 1 juvenile (2:1); first observed on the tern pad flats north of NE 170th at 3:00 pm on 11/17; moved to just north of boundary later, then eventually joined a combined group of 10 adults just west of North Lake near dusk; not observed on 11/18
16-18 November 2016Big Salt Marsh6:  4 + 2 adults (6:0) in the same general area of the upland grasslands west of Big Salt Marsh, 8:00 am; not found at 9:00 am; located early afternoon of 11/17 on west side of Big Salt Marsh; flew northeast to west of North Lake at 4:15 pm and joined 2 groups of 2 adults, along with a family 2:1 and remained until observed flying south at 7:30 am on 11/18
15-17 November 2016Big Salt Marsh area4:  3 adults (one with radio), 1 juvenile (3:1); first observed 2:45 pm 11/15 on the flats north of NE 170th St.;  also seen in sw BSM for most of the day on 11/16; still present on the NE 170th flats at 7:15 am 11/17; flew to Little Salt Marsh around 11:00 am on 11/17 and still present at 5:15 pm; observed flying south from LSM 7:19 am on 11/18
13-14 November 2016Big Salt Marsh4:  4 adults (4:0), southeast corner of Big Salt Marsh at 7:am; combined with group of 3 (2A/1J) and all flew south at (9:00 on 11/14)
13-14 November 2016NE 170th flats3:  2 adults, 1 juvenile (2:1); first observed on the flats north of NE 170th at 7:30 am on 11/13; joined a group of 4 adults in south BSM later that morning for most of the day, then left and returned to the flats around 5:30 pm; were observed back in south BSM with the 4 adults at 7:25 am on 11/14, but flew south with them at 9:00
12 November 2016Big Salt Marsh33: 29 adults, 4 juveniles (29:4), southwest corner of Big Salt Marsh; these were in scattered groups along the southwest portion of Big Salt Marsh at first light; breakdown (33 plus the 7 below) was one very large group of 28 (26A/2J), one group of 6A, and another group of 6 (4A/2J);  last observed at 9:50 am when all 40 flew south at 9:50 am
11-12 November 2016Big Salt Marsh7:  5 adults, 2 juveniles (5:2), southwest corner of Big Salt Marsh; combined with large group (see above) and flew south with them at 9:50 am on 11/12
9 November 2016Big Salt Marsh6:  4 adults, 2 juveniles (4:2), southeast corner of Big Salt Marsh; last seen 7:45 am
9 November 2016Big Salt Marsh3: 3 adults (3:0), south end of Big Salt Marsh, last observed at 8:10 am
3 November 2016Big Salt Marsh3:  3 adults (3:0), southwest corner of Big Salt Marsh, 8:00 am; these flew south at 9:40 am
2-3 November 2016Big Salt Marsh area7:  6 adults, 1 juvenile (6:1) first observed in the flats north of NE 170th St. on 2 November; observed 8:00 am on 11/3 on west side of interior Wildlife Drive; these took flight and flew south at 9:15 am
28-29 October 2016Big Salt Marsh area6:  6 adults (6:0), one color-banded, first observed on the flats north of NE 170th at 8:00 am; they flew south to the interior Wildlife Drive at 8:24 am.  Last reported on the west side of Big Salt Marsh at 10:25 am; still present on NE 170th flats as of 9:45 am on 10/29
24 October 2016Big Salt Marsh2:  2 adults (2:0), northwest Big Salt Marsh; 8:00 am; flew out between 10 and 10:15 am same morning
Spring 2016  
7 April 2016Big Salt Marsh3:  3 adults, southwest Big Salt Marsh; last observed 8:00 am
5 April 2016Big Salt Marsh1:  1 adult, southwest  Big Salt Marsh; last observed 7:40 am
29 March 2016Unit 14A3:  3 adults (or possibly 2A, 1J) in Unit 14A; observed flying north from there at 8:45 am
29 March 2016Big Salt Marsh2:  2 adults in Big Salt Marsh, last reported 7:45 am
24 March 2016North Lake6:  6 adults, just south of North Lake; flew from area at 12:30 pm.
22-3 March 2016flats north of NE 170th St.4:  4 adults, one banded, on "tern pad" area north of NE 170th St. at 5:00 pm; still present in same location at on 23 March; observed leaving at 10:30 am.
 Fall 2015  
16 November 2015BSM1:  1 adult (unbanded), joined with the 2 adults shown below in southeast BSM, 8:02 am; last observed with them later that morning in same area
16-18 November 2015BSM2:  2 adults (one banded with blue and green leg bands), south end BSM 8:02 am; briefly joined a family group on 11/17, then last seen as a pair in LSM, 8:30 on 11/18 
15-18 November 2015BSM1:  1 adult with Sandhill Cranes, near jct. NE 170th St/NE 90th Ave, 8:00 on 11/15; still present with a family of 3 on  11/18 in BSM, flew south at 8:45 am
14-18 November 2015BSM6:  4 adults, 2 juveniles (2 separate families, one adult with a black leg band), late afternoon, south end of Big Salt Marsh, 14 November; present again 7:22 am, 15 November, south BSM;  present in separate groups, and with other groups, until last reported (separately) 8:30 on 11/18
14 November 2015LSM3:  3 adults, flying in and landing, north LSM, 3:45 pm
13-14 November 2015BSM7:  6 Adults, 1 juvenile; first report 5:00 11/13; next reported 9:15 am 11/14, se corner of Big Salt Marsh as 5A/1J; last reported East Lake, 3:45 pm on 11/16
9-10 November 2015BSM4:  4 adults, 2:30 pm; flew south at 2:30 pm; still present, north-central BSM at 9:20 am, 10 November
6 November 2015LSM2:  2 adults, south end, 7:30 am;  last reported 8:30 am
1 November 20154 mi. s of HQ3:  3 non-age-specific birds in flight, noon, flying south 
1 November 2015BSM3:  2 adults, 1 juvenile, northeast BSM at 7:15 am; flew south at 7:45 am
31 October - 1 November 2015BSM6:  4 adults, 6:00 pm on 31 October, sw BSM; joined by 2 additional adults at an unknown time; all six seen flying south from south BSM at 7:40 am, 1 November
29-31 October 2015     BSM5:  4 adults, 1 juvenile, south end of Big Salt Marsh 7:45am; last reported 9:15 am, 10/31 flying south from BSM
28 October 20151 mi. s of HQ14:  14 adults, circling high overhead 1/2 mile south of Refuge (visitor report)
16-24 October 2015LSM2:  2 adults, northwest corner of Little Salt Marsh, 7:40 am; last reported 7:40 am, 10/24 in LSM
10 October 2015LSM2:  2 adults, south end of Little Salt Marsh 7:40 am; last seen 8:00 am
Spring 2015  
12 April 2015LSM2:  2 adults, south end of Little Salt Marsh (sw of Obs. Tower) at 8:00; seen flying north from area at 10:55 am
9-10 April 2015BSM1:  1 adult, southwest corner of Wildlife Drive, 8 am on 9 April; present again at 7:20 am on 10 April; not present on Refuge later at 1:00 pm
5 April 2015BSM3:  3 adults, northwest corner of Big Salt Marsh (w of Wildlife Drive); flew north at 8:45 am
31 March 2015flats north of NE 170th St.7:  6 adults, 1 juvenile in tern pad area at 7:00 am; still present at 9:15 am
26 March 2015South entrance2:  2 adults, flying low with Sandhill Cranes north toward Little Salt Marsh, 4:00 pm
27 March 2015Flats north of NE 170th St.8:  8 adults in flats north of NE 170th 7:30 am; last observed 8:00 same location
27 March 2015LSM3:  3 (all adults?), just off northeast corner of Little Salt Marsh; flew north at 10:15 am and not re-located
 Fall 2014  
12 Nov 2014BSM2:  2 adults, east side of Big Salt Marsh, in cove 7:20 am; took flight south and left area at 7:25 am
9 Nov 2014LSM3:  2 adults, 1 juvenile, south end of Little Salt Marsh; last seen flying south at 9:20 am
7 Nov 2014BSM3:  2 adults, 1 Juvenile, northwest corner of Big Salt Marsh, north end; 4:55 pm (dusk); not present at dawn the next morning
7 Nov 2014BSM2:  2 adults, northwest corner of Big Salt Marsh, west shore; 7:00 - 7:30 am; one adult with green-over-red band on left leg
6 Nov 2014LSM9:  9 adults, flying south from LSM area at 10:00 am; last seen flying southeast of Refuge about 10:45 am
6 Nov 2014BSM5:  4 adults (1 banded/radioed, another radioed), 1 juvenile, east side of Wildlife Drive at 7:00 am; last seen flying south at 8:30 am
4-5 Nov 2014BSM/LSM4:  4 adults (1 banded), west side of Big Salt Marsh, 3:54 pm; still present in grasslands to west of Big Salt Marsh at 4:00 pm; observed morning of 11/5 first on south end of Little Salt Marsh, then approx. 1 mi. southwest of HQ along NE 70th Street at 9:30 am
28-9 Oct 2014BSM5:  4 adults, 1 juvenile, nw Big Salt Marsh, 7:32 am; still present 7:50 am; observed flying south at around 10:30 am; observed evening before in same area
Spring 2014  
4 April 2014east of Hudson3:  2 adults, 1 juvenile in wheat field along NE 100th Street, 1.5 mile east of Hudson, 3:45 pm; last seen at 4:30 pm
3 April 2014w of BSM3:  3 adults, grouped with the 15 shown below; crop field at the corner of NE 80th Ave and NE 160th Street, early afternoon
3-4 April 2014BSM area15:  12 adults, 3 juveniles, northwest corner of Big Salt Marsh, 9:15 am. (visibility poor for determining A/J mix); seen better in nw BSM on morning of 4 April - 12A, 3 J; all flew north at 7:30 am
2 April 2014BSM area2:  2 adults, west interior Wildlife Drive, last seen 5:40 pm
25-26 March 2014LSM4:  4 adults, south end of Little Salt Marsh, 11:20 am; flew west into the marshes w of LSM at 12:30; still present 3:20 pm; last seen 1 mile south of refuge just east of NE 140th Ave. at 9:15 am
22 March 2014LSM area3:  2 adults, 1 juvenile, landed southwest of LSM at about 11:45 am; took flight (high) at 12:40 pm
Fall 2013  
23 Nov 2013   BSM Area2:  2 adults, south end of Big Salt Marsh with Sandhill Cranes, last reported at sunset
22 Nov 2013BSM Area3:  2 adults, 1 juvenile, flats north of NE 170th St., last reported 8:10 am
15 Nov 2013BSM area2:  2 adults, west side of Big Salt Marsh, last reported at 7:45 am
13-17 Nov 2013BSM area3:  2 adults, 1 juvenile, northeast interior Wildlife Drive, first seen at 6:55 am on 11/13; last reported at 7:00 am on 11/17
12 Nov 2013BSM area4:  4 adults on the west interior Wildlife Drive, first seen 7:30 am; last reported at 8:00 am
11-12 Nov 2013BSM area2:  2 adults on the flats north of NE 170th, 3:50 pm; last reported at 8:10 on 12 November
10-11 Nov 2013BSM area11:  10 adults, 1 juvenile, flats north of NE 170th at 5:30 pm to dark; still present at 6:50 am the next morning, but gone by 8:05 am
10 Nov 2013BSM area16:  3 adults, flats north of NE 170th at 7:30 am; joined by 10 adults and 3 juveniles at 10:15 am; after briefly landing in the southeast portion of the Wildlife Drive, all 16 flew southeast at 10:30 am
9 Nov 2013BSM area3:  3 adults, south end of Big Salt Marsh first thing; took flight south at 9:45 am, last seen 8 mi s of Refuge HQ in flight
8 Nov 2013BSM area8:  7 adults, 1 juvenile; first sighted at 7:15 am, flats north of NE 170th Street; flew southeast at 8:20 am
2-4 Nov 2013BSM area and LSM area2:  1 adult, 1 juvenile; first sighted at 6 pm northwest BSM, then flew northeast to the flats north of NE 170th at dusk; still present at 8:00 the next morning, but flew west at 8:10; last seen in wheat field north of LSM on 11/4, but flew south at 8:45 am
2 Nov 2013Little Salt Marsh2:  2 adults at the south end of Little Salt Marsh, straight west of Observation Tower; first observed at about 9:00 am; lifted off and flew southwest at 10:14 am
31 Oct - 1 Nov 2013Big Salt Marsh3:  2 adults, 1 juvenile, west side of Big Salt Marsh, 7:50 am; took flight west at 8:10 am (different group than on 10/27, based on bands); these same birds were seen at around 6:45 pm the previous evening on the east flats north of NE 170th Street
27 Oct 2013Big Salt Marsh3:  2 adults, 1 juvenile, southwest corner of Big Salt Marsh, 7:50 am; took flight south at 10:30 am
24 Oct 2013Big Salt Marsh1:  1 adult, southwest corner of Big Salt Marsh, with Sandhill Cranes; last observed 9:15 am
Spring 2013  
22 April 2013Big Salt Marsh3:  2 adults, 1 juvenile (banded) west of west side of Wildlife Drive, 9:15 am; still present at 9:30 am
15 April 2013southwest of HQ5:  5 adults on grassland south and west of Peace Creek unit along NE 110th Street; first seen at 8:30 am
13 April 2013Big Salt Marsh3:  3 adults (one banded) in flats north of NE 170th St, north of oil tanks; first seen at 8:25 am, still present at 9:40 am
8-11 April 2013North Lake2:  2 adults in flats north of NE 170th at 7:30 pm on 4/8; still present 4/9 at 7:20 am; flew to North Lake at 7:40 am; survived storm on night of 4/9, observed at 7:40 am 4/10; last seen on 4/11 at 7:45 am
8 April 2013Little Salt Marsh10:  8A, 2J; flying very low, north from the north side of Little Salt Marsh at 12:35 pm; not present at 1:00 pm
8 April 2013Unit 14A4:  3A, 1J; feeding in flooded unit; observed from 10:00-10:35 am; not present 1:00 pm
5 April 2013Big Salt Marsh10:  10 birds of uncertain age flying from the west side of Big Salt Marsh to the north at 5:30 pm
1 April 2013NE 140th St.12:  12 birds of undetermined age flying north over NE 140th Street just east of the Scenic Overlook at 11:00 am
1 April 2013Big Salt Marsh10:  10 birds of undetermined age (due to poor light and birds taking flight), northwest corner of Big Salt Marsh at 7:00 am.  Flew from adjacent to Wildlife Drive and headed north; last seen continuing north from NE 170th Street at 7:10 am.
31 March 2013Little Salt Marsh2:  2 adults in the southwest corner of Little Salt Marsh (far side of water from photo blind) at just before 9:00 am; not present at 9:30 am
28 March 2013Big Salt Marsh5:  4 adults, 1 juvenile; first observed at 8:00 am to the west of BSM in the uplands, feeding and doing some dancing; flew northwest at 8:50 to a small wetland just inside the refuge boundary, where they were still present at 9:45 am
17 March 2013Big Salt Marsh2: 2 adults roosting with Sandhills on in BSM w of the Wildlife Drive, 7:40 am, flew northeast at 8:25 am and landed northeast interior Wildlife Drive (east of oil tanks); not seen 9:00 am
14 March 2013Big Salt Marsh1:  1 adult flew in and landed, then took flight to northwest with Sandhill Cranes at 12:30 pm
6 March 2013North Lake5:  4 adults, 1 juvenile (banded with green band on right leg) roosting together in the middle of North Lake at 8:15 am.  Last observed at 8:30 am.
6 March 2013Big Salt Marsh1:  1 adult with Sandhill Cranes in southwest corner of BSM at 8:00.  Observed flying west with some Sandhills at 8:05 am.
8 February 20134 mi. NW of Big Salt Marsh6:  6 adults in crop-circle field 2 mi. west and 1 mi. south of intersection of NE 170th Street and NE 80th Avenue.  Unconfirmed by Refuge staff.  Considered probable.
Fall 2012  
28 Nov 2012Little Salt Marsh2:  2 adults in the south end of Little Salt Marsh, present from 8:15 through 10:50 am; gone by 11:05 am
16 Nov 2012Big Salt Marsh1:  1 adult in the southeast corner of Big Salt Marsh, present at 8:00 am, still present at 9:25 am
15 Nov 2012west of BSM1:  1 adult flying with a flock of Sandhill Cranes near intersection of NE 170th St. and NE 80th Ave., 8:00 am
14-15 Nov  2012Big Salt Marsh1:  1 juvenile in Y-road Wetland northwest of Big Salt Marsh at first light; flew south at 7:27 am on 11/14; still present at 8:30 am on 11/15
10 Nov 2012Little Salt Marsh3:  2 adults, 1 juvenile; flew in about 5:00 pm and were seen until dark; not seen the next day
10 Nov 2012Little Salt Marsh     2:  1 adult, 1 juvenile, present in late afternoon (4:40 pm), observed flying north at about 4:45 pm; not seen again
9 Nov 2012Little Salt Marsh3:  2 adults, 1 juvenile; joined the 15 birds from the night before; present from dawn until all 18 were seen flying south at about 10:00 am
8-9 Nov 2012Little Salt Marsh15:  14 adults, 1 juvenile a the north end of Little Salt Marsh at dark (6:00 pm)
8 Nov 2012Big Salt Marsh6:  5 adults, 1 juvenile, feeding in grass off the west side of Big Salt Marsh, 3:30 pm
8 Nov 2012Big Salt Marsh5:  5 adults northwest of Big Salt Marsh, seen flying southwest at 10:35 am
8 Nov 2012Little Salt Marsh4:  4 adults, north end of Little Salt Marsh, flew and landed briefly at 10 am, then took flight to the north at 10:15 am
8 Nov 2012Little Salt Marsh4:  3 adults, 1 juvenile, north end of Little Salt Marsh, 8:30 am; seen flying south east at 10:15 am
8 Nov 2012Wildlife Drive3:  3 adults, flats in the southeast interior of the Wildlife Drive, 7:30 am; not seen again
8 Nov 2012north of Big Salt Marsh3:  3 adults, flats north of Marsh Rd/NE 170th St, 7:30 am, seen flying south at 10:30 am
8 Nov 2012Unit 621:  1 adult, with a pair of Sandhill Cranes, flew southwest at 6:45 am
7 Nov 2012Little Salt Marsh4:  2 adults at 2:30 pm, later joined by 2 more at 3:30 pm, totaling four adults; seen taking flight and heading north at 5:45 pm
6-7 Nov 2012Little Salt Marsh and south3:  2 adults and 1 juvenile (family) seen at Little Salt Marsh at sundown (5:30-6:00 pm); then seen the next morning at 8:30 am 1/2 mile west of junction of NE 140th Avenue and NE 50th Street (3 1/2 miles south of HQ)
4-5 Nov 2012Little Salt Marsh4:  3 adults, 1 juvenile (believed to be an adult pair + a single parent with a juvenile); sighted 4:40 pm 11/4 - seen flying out 8:17 am 11/5
2 Nov 2012Reno County, 5 mi. east of HQ2:  2 adults, just east of junction 4th Avenue and Netherland Road
2 Nov 2012Big Salt Marsh2:  2 adults
1 Nov 2012flats north of Big Salt Marsh3: (2 adults, 1 juvenile)
Spring 2012  
9 May 2012Big Salt Marsh1 adult observed flying north from Big Salt Marsh (last Spring sighting)
8 Apr 2012Big Salt Marsh2 adults feeding north of the "Tern Pads" north of Big Salt Marsh
7 Apr 2012North Lake2 adults feeding; North Lake is 1 mile north of Big Salt Marsh
5-6 Apr 2012Big Salt Marsh, Little Salt Marsh18 total:  13 adults, 3 juveniles north of Big Salt Marsh; 2 adults Little Salt Marsh
4 Apr 2012Big Salt Marsh5 adults, west side of Big Salt Marsh (these 5 birds joined the larger group on 4/5)
3-4 Apr 2012Big Salt Marsh8 adults, 3 juveniles (11 total), flats north of Marsh Rd (NE 170th St.)
29 Mar 2012Big Salt Marsh16 adults, 3 juveniles (19 total!), flats north of Marsh Rd (NE 170th St.); departed by 10:17 am
25 Mar 2012Big Salt Marsh6 adults, west side of Big Salt Marsh; observed flying north at 10:15 am
16 Mar 2012Big Salt Marsh3 adults, loosely mixed with Sandhill Cranes, west side of Big Salt Marsh (first Spring sighting)
24 Jan 2012Big Salt Marsh6 adults
Fall 2012  
26 Dec 2011    rural Stafford County     1 adult with Sandhill Cranes
19 Dec 2011Big Salt Marsh1 adult with Sandhill Cranes
12-18 Dec 2011rural Stafford County1 adult with Sandhill Cranes
5-11 Dec 2011Little Salt Marsh1 adult with Sandhill Cranes; believed to be the same bird sighted 11/19-27
7 Dec 2011Little Salt MarshFamily (2A, 1J), late evening
19-27 Nov 2011Little Salt Marsh1 adult with Sandhill Cranes; last observed 27 Nov, 7:05 am
24-25 Nov 2011Big and Little Salt Marsh2A with 2J ("twins"), first on Big Salt Marsh, then the next day on Little Salt Marsh; seen in area farm fields in the morning, but returned to Big Salt Marsh in the evening of the 25th
12-14 Nov 2011Little Salt Marsh2 adults; not seen after 9:15 am on the 14th
11 Nov 2011  Big Salt Marsh6 adults flying over the north end of Big Salt Marsh
7-8 Nov 2011Little Salt MarshFamily (2A, 1J), last seen 8:15 am
1-3 Nov 2011Little Salt Marsh11 adults, 1 juvenile; all 12 birds departed on 3 November
30 Oct-1 Nov 2011Little Salt Marsh     Family (2A, 1J), left on 31 October
19 Oct 20111 mile south of HQSingle adult in flock of Sandhills