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Volunteers needed for the 47th Annual Midwest Crane Count


In less than two weeks, volunteers across the Midwest will wake up early and count cranes.

The 47th annual Midwest crane count is Saturday, April 15th.

Bob Dall and his wife Jan have been the Oneida County coordinators for the annual crane count since 1991.

Dall remembers growing up in Rhinelander without ever seeing a sandhill crane in the area.

Now, he calls their return each year a rite of spring.

“I think that’s kind of special that the Sandhill Crane has been so successful in returning to Wisconsin and now they’re becoming so common that people almost take them for granted,” said Dall.

Dall says even with all the snow on the ground, the cranes will be returning.

A couple of pairs have already been spotted in Oneida County this spring.

“The weather doesn’t affect the cranes as it affects the volunteers,” said Dall.

People can help with population surveys. Dall says people are primarily listening for cranes.

“Although, sometimes you’re lucky enough to see one. You go to a particular site for just two hours on the count morning and listen and observe and then you report that data back to myself and the international crane foundation,” said Dall.

The information collected by the International Crane Foundation is used to determine the abundance and distribution of cranes in six Midwest states.

You can reach out to Bob and Jan at 715-282-7117 or janbobdall@gmail.com. You can also visit the International Crane Foundation website to sign up.

“Despite the weather, we often have some great observations. It gets you out in the woods early. You know spring is coming, but sometimes you need a little nudge to get out there.”

The crane count is on Saturday, April 15 from 5:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m.

Katie Thoresen is WXPR's News Director/Vice President.
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