On Friday May 26th, Lake County team, Walder team, box turtle team, and Dr. Kaitlin Moorehead (Ph.D. student in WEL) came together to trap and track turtles in Lake County. Everyone split up the work that was left to do for the week and conquered. During this time, the team caught seven hand captures and one trap capture. What a day!

Sandhill crane crossing road

Sandhill crane that prevented Dr. Kaitlin and Sam from crossing the road.

After wrapping up at the last study site with a juvenile common snapping turtle, the team headed back to the cars so they could process lab work. Unexpectedly, Dr. Moorehead and Sam Johnson ran into an unexpected obstacle on the walk to their car, a sandhill crane who asked for the password to cross the road. Sandhill cranes are waterfowl that prefer to reside in wetlands, prairies, and fields across North America. Though, the lab does not study them, they are an important waterfowl species that WEL encounters often when working with turtles. This time the lab has encountered an individual who is very territorial of the road that may be due to a nest being in close proximity. In order to pass, because Dr. Moorehead and Sam did not know the password, they had to duck behind their other lab mate’s field car to get passed. That sandhill crane was not messing around!