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Demoiselle Crane

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  • STA_Birder@hotmail.com
    Rob Fowler, Celeste Pryor and I had a Demoiselle Crane in with the Sandhill Cranes at the Sandhill Crane Preserve in San Joaquin County on Woodbridge Rd east
    Message 1 of 7 , Oct 2, 2001
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      Rob Fowler, Celeste Pryor and I had a Demoiselle Crane in with the
      Sandhill Cranes at the Sandhill Crane Preserve in San Joaquin County
      on Woodbridge Rd east of I5. We looked it over carefully and it did
      not have any leg bands. The primaries appeared normal and the overall
      plumage appeared fresh. It took off and flew with a flock of
      sandhills. My assumption was that it was an escaped bird from some
      local farm. Other birders have raised some interesting points
      relating to cranes, their migration and status as a captive bird.

      Does anyone have any comments about Demoiselle Cranes in the U.S.?

      Any chances this was a vagrant from eastern Russia?

      Jim Gain
      Modesto
    • Jim Holmes
      An update on the Crane. I rode my bike down to the spot for the Demoiselle Crane this afternoon. The field where the bird had been seen had very few Cranes in
      Message 2 of 7 , Oct 11, 2001
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        An update on the Crane.

        I rode my bike down to the spot for the Demoiselle Crane this
        afternoon. The field where the bird had been seen had very few Cranes in
        it (<20). However, a corn field farther to the west and on the southside
        of Woodbridge Rd. was being harvested and it was loaded with birds. There
        were well over 250 Sandhill Cranes in this field and over 100 more in an
        adjacent field resting. Unfortunately, as I was on my bike I had only my
        binoculars (scope is to heavy to carry on my bike from Sacramento). I am
        99.9% sure that the bird was in the adjacent field. I needed the scope to
        be sure.

        My guess is the bird is still there and the Cranes will be feeding in this
        newly harvested field. Somebody should check it tomorrow morning.

        Jim Holmes
        Sacramento, CA
      • Donald Gill
        The Demoiselle Crane was very prominent this afternoon at the Isenberg viewing area on Woodbridge Road, Lodi. It was at the Isenberg site on Woodbridge Road.
        Message 3 of 7 , Oct 12, 2001
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          The Demoiselle Crane was very prominent this afternoon at the
          Isenberg viewing area on Woodbridge Road, Lodi. It was at the
          Isenberg site on Woodbridge Road. It flew into the area, according
          to a birder who had been there most of the day, with a group of
          Sandhills at about 2:00 pm. I was very fortunate to arrive just after
          that and several sets of spotting scopes were focused on the
          Demoiselle. There were several hundred Sandhills in the area.
          However, the Demoiselle was in the water area closest to the road,
          about 300 feet from the viewing area, and could be easily seen with
          decent field glasses. I was in the area only about one-half an hour
          and the Demoiselle was still there when I left. It appears to me
          that this area might be quite crowded in the upcoming days. As I was
          leaving, a very nice lady from Massachusettes, who had arrived in
          California for a pre-planned pelegic trip had made a special detour
          today and was rewarded with the sighting.

          Donald Gill
        • Thomas Miko
          Dear Birders, I ve been discussing the Demoiselle Crane with the Hungarians (it s an irregular vagrant there), and assuming that the bird showed no signs of
          Message 4 of 7 , Oct 17, 2001
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            Dear Birders,
            I've been "discussing" the Demoiselle Crane with the Hungarians (it's an
            irregular vagrant there), and assuming that the bird showed no signs of
            previous captivity, they had no problem with the idea of the bird showing
            up on North America's western half on its own.
            This reminds me of something that I don't understand about Mexican
            vagrants: somebody wrote a couple years ago about the Gray Silky or the
            Blue Mockingbird that it would have had to have crossed the Sonoran Desert
            to get here, another nail in their coffins in terms of CBRC
            accepatance. Hm...wouldn't that also preclude the Nutting's Flycatcher in
            Orange County and the Rufous-backed Robin near Anza Borrego???
            A bird's being "pretty" is a two-edged sword: yeah, it could be an
            escapee, but we could also be overly prejudiced against a naturally
            occuring bird...
            Thomas Miko
            2445 Oswego Street
            Pasadena, CA 91107

            home: (626) 793-2133
            page: (310) 366-9990
            cell: (626) 390-1935

            thomasmiko@...
            thomas_miko@...

            http://www.angelfire.com/ca2/birdsofhungary
          • Kimball Garrett
            ... Calbirders: The California Bird Records Committee solicits all documentation for the Demoiselle Crane, and will attempt to weigh all the evidence in
            Message 5 of 7 , Oct 19, 2001
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              At 10:37 PM 10/17/01 -0700, Thomas Miko wrote:
              >Dear Birders,
              > I've been "discussing" the Demoiselle Crane with the Hungarians (it's an
              >irregular vagrant there), and assuming that the bird showed no signs of
              >previous captivity, they had no problem with the idea of the bird showing
              >up on North America's western half on its own.
              > This reminds me of something that I don't understand about Mexican
              >vagrants: somebody wrote a couple years ago about the Gray Silky or the
              >Blue Mockingbird that it would have had to have crossed the Sonoran Desert
              >to get here, another nail in their coffins in terms of CBRC
              >accepatance. Hm...wouldn't that also preclude the Nutting's Flycatcher in
              >Orange County and the Rufous-backed Robin near Anza Borrego???
              > A bird's being "pretty" is a two-edged sword: yeah, it could be an
              >escapee, but we could also be overly prejudiced against a naturally
              >occuring bird...
              >Thomas Miko


              Calbirders:

              The California Bird Records Committee solicits all documentation for the
              Demoiselle Crane, and will attempt to weigh all the evidence in reaching
              a decision about the identification (that part should be simple) and
              natural origin of the bird

              As for the Blue Mockingbird and Gray Silky-Flycatcher, I don't believe
              any CBRC member held the opinion that such birds could not cross expanses
              of inappropriate habitat (such as the Sonoran Desert); there are far more
              factors to consider (appearance and behavior of the bird, timing and
              location, status in captivity, and patterns of vagrancy, just to name
              a few). These are difficult decisions, and simplistic reasons for
              accepting or rejecting the records are not appropriate.

              Also, bear in mind that decisions by the CBRC (and I note that the
              Blue Mockingbird record is currently still in circulation) can
              certainly be revisited and possibly reversed as additional information
              comes to light.

              Kimball Garrett
              CBRC Vice-Chairman

              *****************************
              Kimball L. Garrett
              Ornithology Collections Manager
              Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
              900 Exposition Blvd.
              Los Angeles, CA 90007 USA
              (213) 763-3368
              (213) 746-2999 FAX
              kgarrett@...
              *****************************
            • creagrus
              Beyond the eventual review by the CBRC, the Demoiselle Crane record must also be reviewed by the editors of the Middle Pacific Coast Region for possible
              Message 6 of 7 , Oct 19, 2001
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                Beyond the eventual review by the CBRC, the Demoiselle Crane record must

                also be reviewed by the editors of the Middle Pacific Coast Region for
                possible publication in "North American Birds" magazine for the fall
                season. I am thus one of five editors that will make an evaluation
                independent of anything the CBRC might do, and we are also thus
                collecting information on the variety of topics that go into the type of

                analysis discussed by Kimball Garrett. In that respect I and others
                have been gathering information, and we welcome anything that might be
                sent to any of us.

                Thanks to a phone discussion last week with Tori Kaldenberg at the
                International Crane Foundation in Wisconsin, I have obtained a
                preliminary list of Demoiselle Cranes in captivity in North America as
                of June 2001 that are in zoos or other semi-public hands. We did not
                recognize all the names but I present the fairly complete preliminary
                listing below. She considers this species to be "fairly common" in
                captivity in zoos, and "one of the more common cranes" in captivity in
                private hands. Alas, there is no listing of Demoiselle Cranes in private

                hands. She believes that the number held privately may be less than the

                number held by zoos, but it could be more. It is not possible to trace
                all the private holdings in the U.S. and Canada.
                As to zoos and other public or semi-public holdings, as of 6/30/01
                there were 48 males, 45 females, and 10 of unknown sex, for a total of
                103 in this type of holding. If was assume about the same number in
                private hands (likely a fair assumption), there are in the neighborhood
                of 200 in captivity in North America.
                Here is a partial listing that I was able to take down over the
                phone: Montgomery Alabama (1); Omaha NE (4), Prospect UT (2), San Diego
                Wild Animal Park (2), St. Paul MN (2), Tracy Aviary UT (2), New York
                Bronx (2), Petersboro (2), Redwood (state?) (1), Seattle WA (2), West
                Orange (state?) (4), Nat'l Zoo in Washington, D.C. (2), Pittsburg (PA?)
                (1), San Antonio TX (2), Sedgwick Co. Zoo KS (2), Toledo OH (2), Wild
                World (state?) (2), Oklahoma OK (2), Pittsburg (CA?) (2), San Diego Zoo
                (2), St. Louis MO (2), Toronto (3), Winnipeg (3).
                Note the wide dispersal and distribution with holdings that are
                rather evently scattered across the U.S. and Canada without significant
                concentrations in any particular region. We don't know if the same is
                true for private holdings.
                Ms. Kaldenberg opined that "likely a strong majority" of zoo birds
                would be banded, but there is no requirement that any of these cranes be

                banded. She did not know what the likelihood of banding was for private

                holdings of cranes. There is also no requirement that privately-held
                cranes be banded.
                As to the issue of the ability to fly, she mentioned a recent project

                to re-establish a population of Whooping Cranes in Florida among
                wintering Sandhills which involved weekly flights of the imprinted
                Whooping Cranes with an ultralight glider. The muscle mass of these
                regularly-flown birds was compared to that of captive birds which were
                not flown. The surprising preliminary results are that there is not much

                difference in muscle mass between the two sets of cranes.

                Don Roberson
                Pacific Grove CA
              • creagrus
                Here are Tori Kaldenberg s clarifying comments after reading my post earlier today: Don, This information is correct. About the banding in private
                Message 7 of 7 , Oct 19, 2001
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                  Here are Tori Kaldenberg's clarifying comments after reading my post
                  earlier today:

                  "Don,

                  This information is correct. About the banding in private hands-banding
                  is
                  the only easy way to tell birds apart in a group so if a private breeder

                  raised more than one bird of a species, they should be banded.
                  Then about the muscle mass difference. Just so you know, there never
                  was
                  "research" quality data here. One person mentioned that the body
                  condition
                  seemed similar in both groups. So, "body condition index" might be a
                  better
                  way of putting it. We never really calculated muscle mass even though
                  that
                  is the terminology I used during our last talk.

                  Tori"

                  I appreciate the fine-tuning of these points.

                  Cheers, Don Roberson
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