DU engineering technician David Hoferer was looking for ducks on a DU project last October when he stumbled across something he never expected, a family group of whooping cranes. The cranes were on the Hinz property, located three miles southwest of Minden in Kearney County. DU acquired the Hinz property two years ago as part of the Revolving Habitat Program. Native grass seed was planted on a portion of the property last spring. Additional wetland restoration is being planned. Whooping cranes are regular visitors on seasonal wetlands in the western portion of the Rainwater Basin. While DU habitat projects in this area are targeted for waterfowl, restored wetlands will provide habitat for many wildlife species, including the endangered whooping crane.
A family group of whoopers. The mottled brown crane is a juvenile, born in 2008.