North News: Winter
& Spring 2007
Feb. 16, Mar. 2, 16, 30, Apr. 6, 13, 20, 27, May
Western flock: There's news from Texas,
Kansas, and Canada, but most of the Whoopers are on
schedule for nesting. Eastern flock: With #520's arrival
on May 4, all but five are home in Wisconsin. Eight chicks
for the next ultralight-led flock are growing bigger daily.
Calculate the age range so far, and the average daily weight
gain for #702. Our create-a-caption slide show gives you
a preview of the new chicks' summer adventures. Then see
Brian's surprising answer
this question: How many Whooping Crane eggs does it take
to make another Whooping Crane egg?
Western flock: Most of the cranes have
completed their 2,500-mile migration to Canada and some have
begun nesting! Will white-red have a new mate? Eastern flock:
No new nesting activity during the week, but 51 are home and
the last three from Florida are finally headed north. How will
they recognize home? Hopes were dashed for #615's return when
he was found dead this week, yet five new hatchlings brought
hope for the growing Class of 2007.
The first Western flock arrivals will reach
the nesting grounds any day! Why is biologist Brian Johns
is keeping a special lookout for two of them? One more Eastern
arrived in Wisconsin for
home, with one more on the way.
Meet the first chick
hatched for the new ultralight-led flock! Explore how wild
and captive-raised chicks
learn life's lessons in their first year and click through
a slide show about Bode and Ohno, two special cranes.
In another BIG news week, the Western
flock's leaders have crossed the Canadian border! Only 7 remain
in Texas, but in North Dakota the flock lost its first crane
in a year. Tom tells about this "senior citizen's"
Meanwhile, an estimated 50 of the new flock are back
Wisconsin. Three pairs are sitting on nests!
Join tracker Lara in a lesson that helps you see how we know
where MOST of the Eastern flock birds are, and find out what's
happening where eggs will soon hatch the first chicks for the
Class of 2007 ultralight-led cranes.
What a week for Whoopers! Only five of
the Eastern flock are still in Florida, with most back in Wisconsin.
The spring's first egg has been laid! It belongs to the
parents of the
first wild-hatched chick, W1-06. In Western flock
news, not one single crane died this winter. In the
past week all but 57 of the Western flock's 237 birds began
migration. Some are as
Dakota on the 2,500-mile flight to Canada. We predict that
more nesting news is next. Go cranes!
Our two flocks are giving us two very different
migrations! While most of the Texas Whoopers stay put, two-thirds
of the new Eastern flock are back in Wisconsin. Tom Stehn tells
a tall tale about Whoopers on windy days. He also asks good
we consider why Whooping Cranes are endangered, but Sandhill
Cranes are not. Compare the cranes' current and former ranges.
How might you explain why several Wisconsin Whoopers now
went to Michigan instead?
The migration for cranes of the new Eastern
Flock is way ahead of the larger Western Flock (it's
still too cold to arrive in Canada). At least 29 Whoopers
have migrated back to Wisconsin .
Why is it helpful for older cranes to arrive earlier in
spring? What's normal behavior for a young crane making its
first journey north with
and he tells why it's hard to correcty identify cranes in flight.
After Tom's report, try it yourself with our new crane ID photo
quiz! And send your questions to Ask
the Expert, now open.
News Flash! NINE of the new
Eastern flock's cranes have been confirmed in Wisconsin after
completing spring migration, including the First Family! More >>
Here they come! An "early bird" family
group has begun migration from Texas. Fifteen whoopers from
migrating, including one first-timer: the new flock's
and her parents! The greatest danger
facing migrating cranes is something they cannot
What is it? How can cranes
ONE of the world's 309 migratory cranes has begun the journey north! News of
departures will soon follow. From the Texas wintering grounds, Tom introduces
productive parents 20 years old. We consider the survival challenges facing cranes,
an audio clip by Joe Duff, and look at the successes of helping this endangered
species grow in numbers. Why is it important?
2 storms in Florida brought tragic news about the young cranes
we tracked south last fall with Operation Migration leading
the way: Crane #615 was the
lone survivor of the Class of 2006. See why his new nicknames
are Houdini and Maverick. But there's still something to
celebrate, as Sara and Tom explain. This season's new chapter
crane story is sure to offer adventure and hope. Welcome!
They stand nearly five feet tall with wingspans wider than
most cars. We begin on February 16, when the world's migratory
whooping cranes are on their wintering grounds.
WHOOPING CRANE SPRING MIGRATION UPDATES will be posted
on Fridays. (See schedule above.) Download your official
journals, make your map of whooping crane habitats, and
get ready for the journey north! >>