Journey North News: Winter & Spring 2008

Posted Fridays: Feb. 29, Mar. 14, 28, Apr. 4, 11, 18, 25, May 2, 9

May 9, 2008
What a big week for news! The last 3 of the celebrated 10 Wisconsin nests were deserted on a hot May 6, though some eggs were saved. Young #733 reached home. Now #727 is the only one in the Class of 2007 still migrating, while all six '07 DAR chicks remain in Michigan. Three chicks have hatched in Maryland for fall's ultralight-led migration! Our new slide show reveals how a Big Egg Hunt helped save the species, and our create-a-caption slide show previews the new chicks' summer adventures. It's a wrap!
May 2, 2008
Three of the Class of 2007 crossed the finish line this week, raising the total to 58 of 72 cranes home in Wisconsin. The first of the Western flock finished the 2,500-mile journey to their Canadian nesting grounds. You might be surprised to find out how recently those nesting grounds were identified! Our field biologists have news: Sara sums up the whereabouts of every bird in the Eastern flock, and Tom Stehn gives the egg forecast for the soon-to-be Class of 2008. Will there be 24 ultralight cranes, as hoped for? Photo Eva Szyszkoski
April 25, 2008
Whooping Cranes are flocking homeward! Nine of the Class of 2007 completed migration this week, and biologist Brian Johns reports at least 40 whoopers on the home stretch to the nesting grounds in Canada. Taking to the skies herself, Sara discovered ten pairs nesting in Wisconsin. What important life lessons must young cranes master? Click through our slide show to compare differences between wild-raised and captive-raised crane-kids learning to survive.
April 18, 2008
The first whoopers of the Western flock have reached Saskatchewan! Biologist Brian Johns predicts they'll reach the Canadian nesting grounds early next week. Despite wild weather, many cranes persisted in their journey north, and a few more of the Eastern flock are back in Wisconsin. How many days was #709 on the wintering grounds? Tracker Colleen says spring is a crazy time for Whooping Cranes, and there's plenty of proof in today's report. Six nests, too!
April 11, 2008
Over half the entire new Eastern flock is back! The first HY07 crane flew right over Necedah NWR. How will the Class of 2007 know when they've reached home? Three pairs are nesting, raising happy hopes for chicks this summer. The Western flock has departed earlier than usual, and Tom Stehn discusses possible reasons. He counted only 34 on the Texas refuge April 10. See the trackers' latest photos, and check bio pages for your Eastern crane's progress. Go cranes!
April 4, 2008
Whooping Cranes in both flyways are headed north! More than 30 older ultracranes have completed migration, and the ultralight-led juveniles are underway. (Young #735 is already home, but she had help.) Why do Whooping Cranes lay two eggs when usually only one chick survives? What advantages do these endangered birds gain by migrating in small groups? Explore reasons with biologist Tom Stehn. See the latest migration photos in Sara'sreport, and learn which female migrated back to Wisconsin for the first time in 5 springtimes!
March 28, 2008
Here they come! The journey north is underway for all but six of the ultralight-led juveniles! At least four of their older flock mates have reached Wisconsin. In Texas, five of the natural flock began migration March 25. Get latest updates on both flock's "senior citizens." See Sara's photos of a muddy #709 and find out why #706 is fondly called Mommy's Boy by tracker Eva.
March 14, 2008
No migration yet for the Western flock's 266 cranes nor the 17 chicks of the new Eastern flock who followed the ultralights south. But young DAR 40-07 has begun her first journey north, and several older "ultra-cranes" are headed north too. Sara's news and photos tell of a surprising change in #735's future. From Texas, biologist Tom Stehn introduces us to a quiet hero: the Lobstick male, hatched in 1972 and still bringing his chicks to Texas.
February 29, 2008
"The tallest bird in North America has something special to "whoop" about," says Tom Stehn, and today's report tells why. It's been a great year for whoopers! Most are hunkered down in their wintering grounds, but three early birds began their journey north this week. Tour the wintering grounds of both flocks with our slide shows. Get acquainted with some cranes by identifying them through banding colors, and test your skills at counting cranes from the air like Tom Stehn does. Welcome to the cranes' 2008 journey north!

Welcome and Orientation
What endangered species stands nearly five feet tall with wingspans wider than most cars? Whooping Cranes! Our reports begin on February 29, when these magnificent birds are on their wintering grounds.
Regular WHOOPING CRANE SPRING MIGRATION UPDATES will be posted here on Fridays. (See schedule above.) Download your official journals, make your map of Whooping Crane habitats, and get ready for the journey north adventure! >>





Journey North is pleased to feature this educational adventure made possible by the
Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership (WCEP).