The five remaining juvenile Whooping cranes from the Class of 2015 have begun their northward flight!

Colleen Chase reports all five spiraled up into the sky and at 10:05 am ET they disappeared over the treeline – heading north!

We’ll keep you posted as we get information…

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  1. Barb March 31, 2016 8:31 am

    Good weather for your trip Northward, sweet Cranes.

  2. Margie Tomlinson March 31, 2016 8:00 am

    Hope ‘the Beast’ cam and a blind cam will be available & working for us to watch them arrive at WRM. Will the covered pen be left open for them to wander in & out, and will the ‘tumes’ show up to greet them?

    • Heather Ray March 31, 2016 8:21 am

      There is nobody at White River to assist/troubleshoot the camera so it will not be set up this week. We do, however, hope to have it up and running by the end of April. The pen is not open. Too easy for other wildlife to get inside and potentially be trapped. And no, no costumes. These cranes are now wild and free!

  3. Christine Myers March 30, 2016 8:10 pm

    Godspeed whoopers! Safe travels, Cheering you on from Florida!

  4. CrabtowneMd March 30, 2016 6:33 pm

    Godspeed to the amazing colts of 2015. May they find smooth skies and a following breeze to boost them on their way. Thank you for all the updates and the map showing the PTT hits. Love it when the technology works.

  5. Leota Hopper March 30, 2016 6:16 pm

    Thank you Heather and Colleen for the Breaking News! My heart goes out to them for a safe journey! That is soo good to hear! I knew it would take time, only when they were ready. I bet the OM staff was excited to see that they finally started to head North. Thank you again for the wonderful news and any further updates on our Whooping Cranes. Keep up the good job in following the Whooping Cranes adventures.

  6. Michele March 30, 2016 5:44 pm

    Wasn’t there a short video of another class just before migration in the past. Seems like it was at St. Marks and caught all the chicks sounding off; then as one taking off. Cried and cried after seeing it. Not for loss, but joy and the gain of more whoopers in the skies for the future.
    Thank you for the update!

  7. Cheryl N. March 30, 2016 4:53 pm

    Godspeed little ones! Our hearts are flying along with you on your journey.

  8. thunder March 30, 2016 3:19 pm

    Holy Cow ~~ So it begins!! Woo hoo fly on Class of 2015. Breaking out the chocolate here!! SO excited for them. You have to be proud OM. Wonderful news Heather. Thanks for the Breaking News!!!

  9. Margie Tomlinson March 30, 2016 3:18 pm

    Hooray! Our babies are on their way home to WI. Hope they make it there safe & sound. Thank you for keeping us updated, Heather. (<3)

  10. Shirley Bowman March 30, 2016 3:06 pm

    So proud of the work you do!!

  11. Stan Howald March 30, 2016 3:06 pm

    Upon reading this I smiled and immediately spread my “wings” and started flapping them in encouragement. And I do not care how silly I may have looked.

  12. P. Doms March 30, 2016 2:20 pm

    Apparently their being crated the last 23 miles to St. Marks hopefully won’t jumble up (like that word? lol) their flight north, considering they weren’t following older ones? Will be anxious to hear where they are after today. So love these birds…..

  13. vannie zychowicz March 30, 2016 12:19 pm

    Thank you for letting us know the good news they are coming back to white river Marsh fly safe young ones we are waiting for you to come home cheers for tears


  14. Kat Williams March 30, 2016 12:15 pm

    May the angels of their ancestors fly along side them and guide them on their journey home. Be safe and Godspeed. Tears of joy, sadness, and success are shed by all. Thank you OM for all that you have given these beautiful birds and all that you have shared with us. Let us know what our next step is in supporting the future of the Whooping Cranes!!!

  15. Kelly Walker March 30, 2016 12:02 pm

    Safe passage oh precious ones.

  16. Carol Craig March 30, 2016 12:00 pm

    Glad they are on the way – sad that they are the last colts we get to follow. Fly safe, high & fast – we will be waiting anxiously to hear you are back in Wisconsin. Peace & love special class of colts !

  17. Elsie Sealander March 30, 2016 11:58 am

    Go TEAM, go !

  18. Mollie Cook March 30, 2016 11:57 am

    Have a safe journey little ones……….see you at WRM.

  19. Ann Gillis March 30, 2016 11:45 am

    I’m holding my breath and will be checking for your reports often. Wishing them a safe journey. More than amazing that they know what to do and when the right time is. Thanks for keeping us informed.

  20. Mindy March 30, 2016 11:44 am

    I have tears reading that this class began their journey today….They are a special class to all of us since they are the last. God bless you little juveniles as you begin your northward adventure. May you and your classmate 2-15 travel safely and arrive back at the beloved marsh where hopefully we will see you on the Beast. Praying….

  21. Warrenwesternpa March 30, 2016 11:33 am

    Breaking News, Heather Ray, March 30, 2016

    Great! They are on their way! Also wonderful 2-15 corrected course. She must have had a dream at roosting … Go West young crane, go west!

  22. AintThatAmerica March 30, 2016 11:31 am

    I keep scratching my head over – if they have the instinct to fly north, why do they not have it for the initial southward migration?

    • Heather Ray March 30, 2016 11:52 am

      They have the instinct to fly north because they have been shown a southward migration route. It’s just as their parents would show them had they been hatched in the wild. If not shown the way, juveniles would likely migrate to escape the frozen water and to find food but they would not know where to go.

  23. margery Lloyd March 30, 2016 11:29 am

    aaaaaggggghhhhh! awsome but bitter sweet , fly high fly safe.

  24. ScubaNurse March 30, 2016 11:04 am

    Cheers and tears…. fly safe little ones. Come on back next yeaar

  25. birdlady9 March 30, 2016 10:56 am

    Gotta admit, I got crane bumps and a little emotional when I read this! 🙂 Safe travels, sweet colts! Can’t wait for your arrival back home in Wisconsin!

  26. Billy Brooks March 30, 2016 10:43 am

    Fly on !