operation migration

Aircraft Guided
bird migration

Whooping Crane Festival 2014

09/12/2014 07:00 AM - 09/14/2014 05:00 PM ET


  • Free


Various locations in Green Lake County - check session listing
Princeton, Berlin, Green Lake & Necedah, WI


No admission fee for Saturday's Festival in Princeton, WI., however registration fee for each of the additional events is indicated.
A weekend of fun activities in support of Operation Migration and Whooping cranes.



Make plans to join us to celebrate and support whooping cranes during this fun weekend near the summer home for Operation Migration's whooping cranes. Take part in the behind-the-scenes-tour at the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge on Friday, join us for dinner Friday evening at the Mascoutin Golf Club near Berlin, WI. Attend the full day Crane Festival in Princeton on Saturday, featuring a pancake breakfast hosted by the Berlin Rotary Club. Bid on the many items in the fantastic silent auction. Sit in on the speaker sessions throughout the day. 

Jump to the registration page

 Friday, Sept. 12th morningMeet at the Visitors Information Center of Necedah National Wildlife Refuge at 11am - In 2001 Operation Migration, in conjunction with the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership (WCEP), initiated a program to re-establish a migratory flock of Whooping Cranes to central Wisconsin using Necedah as the northernmost point on the migratory path. Each spring approximately 80 Whooping Cranes, including several nesting pairs, return to the Necedah area. Join us for a guided tour that will take you on roads not generally open to the public. Traveling via bus, the group will explore the more remote areas of the refuge in search of these magnificent birds. Bring your cameras! $25 per person includes box lunch (see meal options on registration page). 

Friday Sept. 12th evening (6pm) - Join us for dinner at the Mascoutin Golf & Country Club where we will dine with featured speaker Stanley Temple.​ Exclusive LIVE & Silent Auction items will be available. $50 per person with a portion of each ticket going to support the Class of 2014 Whooping cranes. Cocktail hour: 6pm - cash bar. Dinner 7pm. Meal options include baked chicken, beef tips or alfredo pasta. All meals include mashed potato & gravy, vegetable, salad, roll, non-alcoholic beverage. Cash bar available.

Our after dinner speaker will be Mr. Stanley Temple, Senior Fellow and Science Advisor with the Aldo Leopold Foundation. His talk marks the centennial of the extinction 

of the passenger pigeon in 1914. Temple uses the case of the passenger pigeon to call attention to the world’s ongoing extinction crisis and our relationship with other species.

In 1914, the last surviving Passenger Pigeon, 'Martha' died in a Cincinnati Zoo, ending a calamitous half-century in which the pigeon declined from billions to one and then to none as a result of uncontrolled market hunting and the resulting disruption of nesting colonies. The loss of one of the world’s most abundant birds stands as the iconic extinction event in our country’s history.

In 1947, the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology erected the Passenger Pigeon Monument at Wyalusing State Park, and for the occasion Aldo Leopold penned one of the most poignant essays ever written about extinction, "On a Monument to the Pigeon," which later appeared in his classic book A Sand County Almanac.

For more than 30 years, Temple was the Beers-Bascom Professor in Conservation in the Department of Wildlife Ecology at University of Wisconsin-Madison, a position originally held by Aldo Leopold himself. After earning three degrees from Cornell University, Temple worked with endangered species on islands in the Indian Ocean and then returned to Cornell to lead the peregrine falcon reintroduction program.

Saturday, September 13th: All day Festival begins at 8am with a pancake breakfast at the Princeton School (PLEASE NOTE NEW LOCATION). Check out the vendors in the marketplace; bid on Silent Auction items; attend one (or all) of the speaker sessions! Visit the childrens activity tent.

Speaker Sessions Include

  • Pat Fisher - Raptor Rehabilitation 9 - 9:45am: The programs 'Fisher' offers are "up close and personal" as she educates with birds 'on the glove.' The birds make learning a personal experience and are the best way to present wildlife education. Check out The Feather!
  • Beverly Paulan - Aerial Surveys of Wildlife in Wisconsin 10 - 10:45am : Learn how the pilots with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources help to track wolves, whooping cranes, and other wildlife from their vantage point in the sky. 
  • Tom Schultz - Birding Costa Rica 11 - 11:45am: Each spring Tom leads a birding group on a tour of the Costa Rican bird hotspots. His session will feature incredible photography of the amazing birds the group has seen. 
  • George Archibald - International Crane Foundation, Co-founder 1 - 2pm: George Archibald's visionary leadership in international conservation efforts over the past 40 years has given flight to crane conservation worldwide. In 1973, when cranes were in a perilous situation and many were on the brink of extinction, Archibald, along with Cornell University colleague, Ronald Sauey, Ph.D., established the International Crane Foundation (ICF) in Baraboo, Wisconsin as the world center for the study and preservation of cranes. Today, ICF has over 50 employees and supports conservation projects in 45 countries. Archibald is a true conservation ambassador who uses his unique brand of crane diplomacy to work in sensitive places. Join George as he recounts his recent trip to the grasslands of Mongolia to visit white-naped cranes.
  • Joe Duff - Operation Migration 2:30 - 3:30pm: Joe is the co-founder and CEO of Operation Migration. While there are not very many humans who can include 'flying with birds' on their list of accomplishments, if one were ranking them on the number of hours and species, Joe would be at the top of the list. Since 1993, Joe has logged hundreds of hours guiding Canada geese, Sandhill cranes, Trumpeter swans and of course Whooping cranes along pre-determined migration routes in his small aircraft. Come listen to Joe as he recounts his adventures with humor and incredible imagery.

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Saturday Evening Pizza Party! 6:30pm - Christiano's Green Lake, WI. (map) Join your fellow Craniacs for a fun evening with all-you-can-eat pizza and pasta! Price $20 per person inclusive. Cash bar available.

Sunday Morning Bird Walk at White River Marsh - Your walk leader will be Tom Schultz: wildlife artist, experienced birder, and OM Whooping Crane handler. Ever wonder what’s going on in White River Marsh (WRM) beyond the range of the crane cam? WRM is a 12,000 acre wildlife area consisting of marsh, swamp, upland prairie and oak savannah. Once heavily farmed, this area is under management to restore these vital habitats to their natural state. Follow in the footsteps of Aldo Leopold to explore the beauty of this place that has become home to the endangered Whooping Crane and countless other species. Limited to 20 persons. Price $30 per person.

 New! Sunday Evening Wrap Party. 5:30 - 8pm at Mecan River Outfitters (W720 Wisconsin Hwy. 23, Princeton, WI) Menu options: 1) Country fried chicken w/ mashed potatoes, vegetable, tossed salad & roll, beverage (coffee, tea or milk) $14  (includes tax & tip) OR 2) Vegetable stir fry, beverage (coffee, tea or milk)$11 (includes tax & tip). Cash bar available. Make reservations online and indicate meal preference. *Pls note: Attendees will pay for their meal at the Mecan Restaurant. We do ask, however, that you make your meal selection upon registering of other festival events.

Jump to the registration page


Visit this link to check accomodations in the area or contact the Riverview B & B in nearby Neshkoro, WI

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