Florida Crane questionnaire

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Florida Crane questionnaire

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Florida Crane questionnaire
Allen, Robert Porter
Place of Publication:
Tampa, Florida
University of South Florida
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Whooping crane ( LCSH )
Bird populations -- Estimates ( LCSH )
Birds -- Florida ( LCSH )

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
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This object is protected by copyright, and is made available here for research and educational purposes. Permission to reuse, publish, or reproduce the object beyond the bounds of Fair Use or other exemptions to copyright law must be obtained from the copyright holder.
Resource Identifier:
A55-00026 ( USFLDC DOI )
a55.26 ( USFLDC Handle )
11 ( Box number )
10 ( Folder number )

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retu 1 .to: Sanctuary Department, Nat:i.onal Associr..tion .... c!l Auuubo. Societies, 1775 BroaSJ-\vay, New York, !: Y ) 1. What is Q f 'the number of nestinG pnirs of Florida Cranes you,. reg1on? In other 'r..egions familiar to you? D o these number& show any vnrintion f ron year to year? (Indicate bound['.ries of each region mentioned.) \. tOne hundred twenty:ti Tf) Tnere is : 125 paira of neatin& b rda in ay re&ion wnicll conaista 'of t.ne &reater part of weatern Oran&e County and t.n nort:tlweetern part *ot: Oaceola. tns Kiae1Jilmee Prairie re&ion t 'roa Kiaeimme Park sout to LlfJte Kiaeiamee and east to Deer Park and Blue cypreaa Lake tnere is a &reater nuaber,probably three or four time tne number in my re&1on. They are auch acarcer to the north and eaet of here and anow aoae Tariation in tne re&iona mentioned rroa year to year but not eo mucn ae oter wadin& birda,Herons,Wood lbia,etc. 2 About how long (weeks, months,) are Cranes nesting in your region? What is the earliest dnte you have found eggs? Latest date? Averacre de.te'? About two aontne,Feb.and Maron. would fairly well cover tne1r neatin& period. E&& naTe been found ae early ae J.i'eburary 3. and ae late aa Maron 15 with an avera&e date ot about the last week in .li'ebruary. 3. Have you eier observed second yenr birds breeding (birds without red on head ['l.nd with brown, tnrmy plumaGe)'? It ia ay opinion that the aecond year birda breed and neat in thia re&ion 4. Whnt is grentest distance you hr.ve known nesting Crnnes fly to secure food? Avernge distance? Wnen eli atic conditione necessitate tney will fly as far a ten milea away froa their to feed but like to feed closer with an avera&e of about three to four milea. 5 iV'na.t is the food of this species? (Give all possible detnils). It ia a debatable question wnetaer their food would include minnows and amall fish.but think it should include small Crayfieh,snaila and yar1ous aquatic insects ana roote. The bird in the was found1n a saall uckleberry patch and clo e exaaination of droppin&s etc established tne fact beyond doubt that he was them. r Parker states that he also nas observed thea eatin& huckleberries on the &&me reserTe and will eat acorns when in season and will ai& up &rasa nutstWild Cnufae) until tne &round &1ves tne appearence of be1n& rooted up bi ho&s. nsects,botn aquat1 small Cruatacea. r


. -2. 6 Vmat is the period of incubation? Hov..r many ec;g s? HovJ many of the young l1.at ch, ns a rule? Do all of these you nt; generally reach the flight stage? The period or incubation seems to be fro.a twenty one to twentye i&ht days witn as probaly correct. Two e&&s are laid in tne nest and botn,as a rule,natch and at least fifty per cent are succeas:t'ul in raisin& both youn& but a numoer also have botn youn& destroyed in the nest,sin&le birds bein& killed after leavin& the nest. I 7. What is the usual type of plant Growth selected for nest site? I What other types a r e UBed? They prefer a cane-like &raes called Maiden Cane wnich they pull up in a circle makin& a central mound that is fro a foot to two feet and a foot or ore in dia eter at the top and three or more feet where it reeta upon tne mud or very shailow water.{&ee enclosed photo.) rtave never seen a nest built of otner aterial but understand they buiJ.d tnem o1' Wire Gras and otner &rasses wnen fore ea to ouiJ.dl on hi&ner &round to prefer &rase to leaTes or twi&s. 8. Does character of water or level of water have any importance in selection of nest site? In nesting success? In selection of feeding grounds? (Ex plain) Do not know if tney nest on brackish or aalt water out otnerwiee tne Character of water seems to have little effect upon tneir seJ.ection but,as explained above, like marshy interiors of swamps rather than marsnes tnat are open althou&h in prairie re&ions will nest in open places ratner tnan &o a &reat distance from their feedin& &rounds. Some nests are rJ.ooded out out seem to select sites tnat wilJ. be at water level at hatcnin& time. 9. List predators of the Florida Crane in order of importance. Hawks. youn&) youn&,e&&S) Alli&ators. (Youn& found in nests and feedin& or roostin&)Pernapa adults are also cau&ht in tne last two instances. Uould not state de:finately wnat killed the one in tne pnoto&rapn even after close examination but believe it was wounded by an ilJ.e&al nunter tor ita position seem to indicate it was tryin& to reach its nest instead of &oin& from 1t. There is still a few people in tnis vicinity tnat care little for l c 0onsAerv1na: wildlife and +kill tnes e bir.ds fot food, contrary, of couree, to law. re roosvs in your reg1on? Ar e these season-or-year 'round roosts? How long are they occupied? What is your estimate of their population in December? In March? In June ? I n September? List roosts known to you and state when occupied. At least four pair roost in tne marsh of Cypress Creek swamp(see map) and many more roost in tne &ame reserve to tne soutn,especialy tne aarsn of Jonn Dann Bend,a swamp just below tne Oran&e County line in 6sceoJ.a l Co. Witn tne poss1ole exception of the fall montns these roosts are year around roosts. The number roos t .1n& 1n tne Cypres a Creek marsh probaly remains around trom four to six pair at all times and in tne Jonn Dann Bend maran ten to a dozen but tne.re is other roosts tnat vary fro m time to time and would require some study to determine tneir and montns


t t -3. l 11. What approximate percentage of young (brownish) Cranes in your roost(s)? When do they first come into roost? Do they fly in \Vi th adult birds? Would be a hard matter to state with muon accuracy tne percenta&e of youn& birds in roosts without closer observation at r.ooetin& tie but would hazard that tnere is one every two adults as they can olten be seen flyin& to or fro roosts in threes and one seems to be a youn& bird. From my observations it seems tnat when tne birds reacn a about like tne one in picture tney shift for tnemaelves until able to fly and whether they rejoin their own parents tnen or not,and when,is a matter I would like very muon to know myself. 12. How far do these roost Cranes travel to find food? (Give average distance and maximum distance.) They will fly as hi&n as fifteen miles or perhaps twenty from roostin& to feedin& with an avera&e of from five to ei&ht. 13. Have you noted effect of weather on nesting success or failure of Cranes in your region? Temperature changes? Drought? Excessive rainfall1 'l'emperature cnan&ee seem to nave little or no aftect upon nestin& success and they seem to know oet'ore nestin& where tne water level will be at hatchin& time for in wet years tney neat n1sner even soin& out upon dry land (where there is dan&er of their nests bein& destroyed by :fire) but in normal or dry years neat well out in the marany &rasa. They seea to prefer a &rasay marsn(Uaiden Cane) tnat is surrounded by dena e swamp. 14. Please add additional information not covered by above questions. I have never seen a Hill Crane roostin& in a tree or any other place except in marshes in water well above tne t"irst joint in their le&. Mr Parker a&reea on this statement. Believe it possible to find a food they would eat and feed tnem as an inducement to return each year and even increase the number for they are not very wild when not molested. llr Parker states that when trappin&(betore he became &ame warden) tnat he found their nests often in the latter part of February and after passin& several times could walk ri&nt by the nest without the old bird leavin& it. Tne Cypress Creek marsh lies on tne north of tne &ame reserve and both Mr Parker and I would like very much and do all we possiblf could to have tne same reserve extended to include it.lMarked on map.) '!'he creek proper flows into tne reserve and many Turkeys and also coons and otters follow it up and out of tne reserve and breedin& &rounds. This marsh is also tne neatin& site of ,reat blue herons,some e&rets, water turkies,rails and bitterns none are in sreat numbers. Answerin& this inquiry has been a distinct pleasure if l snould remain here would be &lad to secure any other in!ormation you wish in the future. COLEMAN D. LANE VINELAND, FLORIDA.


* 3 Upon realiz1n& that this bird to e was seen l tat feet but was unab!e yet to fly and could run no faster tnan a man can trot 7-t. H iO'Ht and was easily headed from tne Sovi '1-rr. swamp. 1'nis made him very an&ry and he would aavance to about six feet from tne writer and make stabbin& thrusts in his direction with his bill. Woula search around on tne pick up small lumps of airt and shake tnem ri,&o,rous).y.


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