A Hooded Crane, normally seen only in Asia, has been spotted at Goose Pond
Fish & Wildlife Area in Greene County, about 7,000 miles from its
traditional home range, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources said.
Hooded Cranes nest in southeastern Russian and northern China and winter in
The Hooded Crane spotted at Goose Pond FWA is believed to be the same bird
spotted at Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge in Tennessee earlier this winter.
How the wayward bird ended up so far from home is unclear. However, some
Sandhill Cranes, cousins to the Hooded Crane, migrate from Asia to the
southeastern United States. This Hooded Crane may have followed those
sandhill cranes, and may now be returning with them on their northwestern
route back to Asian nesting grounds.
“This wetland habitat is kind of rare in this part of the state,” Goose Pond
FWA property manager Brad Feaster said. “So it’s a magnet for water birds of
all sorts. When they are flying in the air, this place sticks out.”
It is unclear how long the bird will stay in Indiana.
Hooded Cranes are about three feet tall, with a red and black crown on an
otherwise white head and a charcoal colored body. The International Crane
Foundation estimates the world population at around 9,500.
The Hooded Crane at Goose Pond FWA has no bandings, tags, or wing markings
which would indicate that it was a captive bird that had escaped.
The Hooded Crane in Tennessee attracted more than 2,500 visitors from at
least 35 states and five countries, including Russia.
The bird was first spotted at Goose Pond FWA by birders Wednesday afternoon.
As of around noon on Thursday more than 100 birders had already visited the
property from as far away as Minnesota, West Virginia, and Nebraska.
The Hooded Crane has been spending its time in Beehunter Marsh on the
northeast side of Goose Pond FWA. A map at the Beehunter Marsh information
booth will direct visitors to an area where they are most likely to see the
The DNR asks that visitors to Goose Pond FWA abide by the following
•Sign in at the Beehunter Marsh information booth, near the intersection of
Greene County Roads 200-S and 1000-W.
•Where possible, stay in your vehicle.
•Don’t harass the birds; maintain a distance that will not cause them to
•Do not block county roads or private property entrances.
•Respect private property boundaries.
An overall map of Goose Pond FWA is available for download in PDF format at
Goose Pond FWA is an 8,000-acre property of restored wetlands and prairie
that is owned and managed by DNR and located near Linton. The property
opened in 2005 and has already become a regional destination for birding and
waterfowl hunting. About 260 different bird species have been spotted at
Goose Pond FWA.
sighting of a Roseate Spoonbill occurred on June 2, 2009, making Goose Pond
FWA the first location in the state to have such a sighting.