Currently there are 20 Whooping cranes nests on and around Necedah NWR with the earliest one started about April 15th.

So far Black fly traps have shown that few of these biting insects have yet to emerge however, with warmer weather, their numbers are expected to bloom within a week to ten days. By then there may be as many as 25 nests. The Black flies could trigger a large abandonment but we have our fingers crossed.

The WCEP Science Team is also tracking degree heat days or how warm it has been over what time period, to determine when to expect the bloom.

The nests are being monitored using cameras and ground observations by staff from Necedah and ICF along with volunteer pilots from a non-profit called Lighthawk.  Additionally, Wisconsin DNR has several pilots ready to fly surveys when needed.

Meanwhile the birds are simply following their instincts and the excitement of spring. They are oblivious to the science behind their breeding and the good wishes of thousands of people. It’s a good thing they are unaware of all the attention because it might just spoil the mood.

Pairs confirmed nesting are:

 Female Male 
 13-03 9-05
 15-09  11-09
 16-07  16-02
 18-02  13-02
 19-04  12-02
 7-09  17-03
 8-09  2-04
 9-03  3-04
 24-08  14-08
 26-07 11-02
 26-09 27-06
 35-09  6-09
 36-09  18-03
 42-09  24-09
 4-09  16-04
 5-09  33-07
 5-10  28-08
 22-07  12-05
 W1-06  10-03
 32-09  41-09

If you’d like to look up any of the biographies for these cranes, please visit Journey North!

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  1. Ed Kahler May 2, 2013 6:04 pm

    “The Black flies could trigger a large abandonment but we have our fingers crossed.” Were any Black Fly abatement programs active this year? I skimmed the Field Journal and I did not find any entry for the start date of an abatement program.

  2. Annelise Jorgensen May 2, 2013 1:15 pm

    Thank you for the wonderful news update on the 2013 WC nests, Joe . Also thanks for the links to the history of the nesting WCs. What a treasure trove!

    Examining part of this treasure trove, it is a delight to notice that the dad of W1-06, as well as the parents of W1-10, W1-12 and W8-12 are all among the nesting WCs of 2013.

    Finally, did anyone notice that there are 14 nesting WCs from the class of 2009!

    Looking forward to future updates, while remembering that we must be prepared for all the trials and tribulations that go with them!

    • Heather Ray May 2, 2013 4:48 pm

      Great eye Annelise! I was thrilled to learn that 11-02 had finally woo’d another lady crane after losing his mate 17-02 to a senseless shooting.

      • Annelise Jorgensen May 2, 2013 7:25 pm

        PS I should have included my delight at reading that W1-6 is also among this years nesting WCs.

        Hopefully, it is not ‘bad luck’ to hope for the first member of the 2nd generation of the Eastern Flock of Wild-Hatched WCs!

  3. Karen Anne May 2, 2013 8:51 am

    I’ve forgotten what the black fly situation is. Is this the location that is supposed to have fewer of them? No treatment?

  4. Laura Rowan May 2, 2013 6:59 am

    Looks like our boy 9-05 is really a good daddy. He learned that from “helping” with the training back at Necedah. Thanks for the update, Joe!