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Eastern Flock Chicks: Hatch Year 2014
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Group 1

Learn to migrate
by following ultralight airplanes

Group 1 chicks
are captive-born.

Crane chick #2-14
Crane #2-14
(Died 3/15/2015)

Crane chick #3-14
Crane #3-14
Crane chick #4-14
Crane #4-14

Crane chick #8-14
Crane #8-14

Crane chick #9-14
Crane #9-14
(Died Jan. 2016)

Crane chick #5-12
Crane #10-14
(Died 1/1/2016)

Above Photos: Operation Migration
Group 2 Direct Autumn Release (DAR)

Learn to migrate
by following older cranes in the flock

Group 2 chicks are also captive-born. In fall the chicks are released on Horicon National Wildlife Refuge in the company of older cranes from whom the young birds learn the migration route in a program called Direct Autumn Release (DAR).

*This year's four DAR chicks were released into the non-migratory Whooping Crane population at the White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area in southwest Louisiana instead of the eastern migratory population (WCEP population) in Wisconsin.*

Group 3 Wild Hatched

Learn to migrate by following their parents

Group 3 chicks are wild-born. Their parents raise them and teach them to migrate. This is the natural way cranes learn to migrate. One day, this flock will be large enough for wild-born parents to take over. Then human-assisted migration will no longer be needed.

A total of 13 chicks hatched to wild pairs in Wisconsin this summer. Only W3-14 survived to fledge and complete fall migration. She was killed by a Wisconsin predator in April 2015, after completing her first spring migration.

Wild-hatched crane chick W3-14 and parents in Wisconsin in July
Group 4 Parent Reared (PR)

Learn to migrate by following their "adopted" parents

Group 4 chicks are captive-born and each one released near a wild crane pair without chicks, in hopes the pair will adopt the chick and lead it on migration. This is the second year for this part of the Whooping Crane reintroduction program. Parent-reared birds are scheduled for release in Wisconsin before fall migration 2014.

19-14 (Female): white (PTT); red/green, was released near adult pair.#9-05 and #13-03 on 23 September. She remained with the pair through at least 25 September but was not located with the adults by the evening of 26 September. Instead, she successfully migrated with adult pair #7-07 and #39-07 to their winter territory in Georgia. The new family arrived November 23, 2014 and remained together at their wintering location in Lowndes County, Georgia, until starting migration on 7/8 March, 2015. She later completed migration to Necedah NWR . Spring 2016: Returned to Wisconsin by March 30.
20-14 (Female): red/green; white/green (PTT). She was released near adult pair #10-03 and #34-09 on 22 September. She stayed with them several days but later joined pair #9-05 and #13-03 and migrated with them to Green County, Indiana. She was in Jackson County, Alabama, presumably still with pair #9-05 and #13-03, until beginning migration on March 7 or 8, 2015. The family of three completed migration to Necedah NWR in Wisconsin on March 19. She began associating with male #11-02, whose mate had just died.
21-14 (Female): white/red (PTT); red/green. She was released near an adult pair Sept. 22 but wandered and could not be located during an aerial survey on September 30. Location unknown as of Oct. 3. Found dead Oct. 8, 2014, before her first migration.
27-14 (Female): red/green; green/white (PTT) Released near adult pair #25-09 and #2-04 on September 22 and migrated with them in November to Hopkins County, Kentucky. They stayed until March 23. With the adult pair, she completed migration to Necedah NWR in Wisconsin on March 31 and she was on her own shortly after. She wandered up to Minnesota and then back to Dodge County, WI, where she remained, and was spotted as late as Nov. 25, 2015. Spring 2016: PR female #27-14 and male #14-12 DAR were seen associating frequently in LaPorte Co, IN in March 2016 and in April the two were reported together near Grand Rapids, Michigan, so he is taking her on his usual spring detours.

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