Spring 2006

Whooping Crane NEWS FLASH: May 16, 2006
Migration is complete for young #516, but not on his own wing power. He was retrieved from a flooded backyard in Eaton County, Michigan at 2:02 CDT on May 16. A small private plane transported him to Necedah NWR in Wisconsin. Welcome home, #516! His buddy #522 remains in Michigan, the only crane kid still not home from last fall's ultralight-led chicks.
Whooping Crane FINAL Whooping Crane Migration Update: May 12, 2006
Good news! With the capture and return of #520, all but two of the 19 crane kids are safely home. Sara shares her photos and story. The rescued eggs of #213 and #218 have hatached the Eastern Flock's own first baby chicks! More eggs are hatching, and you'll meet the chicks when they fly south with the ultralights next fall. Meanwhile, the Western flock begins nesting in what we hope will be a better year than last. Tom Stehn's important message leaves us with a worthy mission for all, and our create-a-caption activity is a preview of fall fun.
Whooping Crane Whooping Crane Migration Update: May 5, 2006
DAR #532, not detected since March, is home! Today Sara is off to New York to capture chick #520 and wayward #309, the one who led him astray. Whooping crane eggs are traveling, too—to the captive breeding center in Maryland. Soon they'll hatch and become the next group of chicks to migrate with the ultralight planes this fall. Western flock: Just 6 cranes are left at Aransas, and it looks like they're due for a molt. Meanwhile, last year's young will separate from their parents and go off on their own.
Whooping Crane Whooping Crane Migration Update: April 28, 2006
The first whoopers of the Western flock have reached the nesting grounds in Canada! Only 7 remain in Texas. In Eastern flock news, DAR chick #528 is back home, but #520 and his wayward leader #309 moved to Vermont. Why is it imporant to bring this chick back to Wisconsin? We've been watching five nests, but only one remains. Find out what happened to them, and don't miss the discussion of last week's CQ #10.
Whooping Crane Whooping Crane Migration Update: April 21, 2006
Celebrate the homecoming of 2 more crane-kids plus a few Eastern adult cranes back from the unknown! Another nest is underway, but our photo shows what happened to one pair's eggs. In the Western flock, All but 12 whoopers are underway; the first migrants should arrive on the breeding grounds in Canada's Northwest Territories this week. Capture plans are being laid for wayward cranes, and there's a mystery to solve in our new lesson.
Whooping Crane Whooping Crane Migration Update: April 14, 2006
Another amazing week! Right on schedule, nearly half of the Texas flock left for Canada this week, and a few earlier cranes crossed into Canada. The Eastern flock has four pairs sitting on nests in Wisconsin. Will 2006 bring the first chicks? Two wayward Michigan cranes made it across (or around?) Lake Michigan to their Wisconsin home, and two other "missing" birds turned up there, too. The first egg for next fall's ultralight-led flock was laid in a captive breeding center in Maryland. Wow!
Whooping Crane Whooping Crane Migration Update: April 7, 2006
What a week for whoopers! On April 3, the first of four Direct Autumn Release (DAR) cranes successfully returned to Wisconsin. All Eastern flock chicks and the other 45 adults are on migration, but the 14 chicks flying together overflew their summer home on April 6, and 4 others are off course. The Western flock’s migration has 77 whoopers underway to Canada. Catch photos and excitement in today’s report!
Whooping Crane Whooping Crane Migration Update: March 31, 2006
"Eighteen whoopers soaring their way up to Georgia must have been an amazing sight for anyone lucky enough to have spotted them," exclaims tracker Mark Nipper. At this writing, 19 chicks are in Georgia and Tennessee, and an estimated 19 Western cranes are heading for Canada. The race is on! Meanwhile, wayward #309 and one chick have us guessing whether they'll make it to Wisconsin. Why?
Whooping Crane NEWS FLASH! Crane Chicks Begin First Journey North
They were led to Florida by ultralight planes last fall but are migrating on their own this spring! Two left yesterday and the remaining 18 crane-kids left today, March 28. Will these unassisted chicks find suitable and safe stopover sites? Will they find their way back to their summer home in Wisconsin? How long will the journey take? They're OFF—and the suspense begins!
Whooping Crane Whooping Crane Migration Update: March 24, 2006
The HY2005 ultralight-led chicks are still on the wintering grounds. Which 3 wear satellite tracking devices? Meanwhile, several of the Eastern flock’s "white" (older) birds are already home in Wisconsin. In Texas, some of the Western flock have departed on the 2,500-mile migration to Canada, but drought is affecting the flock. See answers to last week's Craniac Treasure Hunt, and check the whereabouts of the world's wild whoopers.
Whooping Crane Whooping Crane Migration Update: March 10, 2006
What?! Two chicks already migrating? They aren't the ultralight -led chicks in Florida, so who are they? Twelve adult Eastern cranes are also migrating! Get to know the flock with our Craniac Treasure Hunt using their life stories. Climb into Tom's airplane and see how many whoopers you can you count from the air. And use the banding codes to see how many Florida cranes you can identify.
Whooping Crane

Whooping Crane Migration Update: February 24, 2006
They stand nearly five feet tall with wingspans wider than most cars. Right now, the world's 280 migratory whooping cranes (in two flocks) are on their wintering grounds. Hear them call! Visit both flocks with our field notes and photos. Download your official journals, make your map of their habitats, and get ready for the journey north!