Where are they now?

This fall season, eleven young Parent-Reared Whooping cranes were released in central Wisconsin. All were released at known roost locations of adult whoopers in hopes they would form a bond with the older and wiser cranes and eventually follow them south.

All but two have begun heading south. One is even in central Florida already!

Here’s a map grab showing their known locations as of November 21st:

Locations of PR whooping cranes on November 21, 2017. Source: Google Earth

As you can see, cranes 30-17 and 72-17 are already well south. These are the two birds Jo-Anne Bellemer was monitoring in Winnebago County, WI.

Female crane 26-17 is now in Gibson County, IN and we think she is with #’s 4-14 (Peanut) and 11-15 but the are they are in is very isolated so we’ve not been able to get visual confirmation.

Number 28-17 does not have a remote tracking device but he was positively ID’d in Walworth County, WI over the weekend. 

Male whooping crane 28-17 in Walworth County, WI. Photo: B. Martin

19-17 (and likely 25-17) are in Warren County, IN. A PTT hit for adult female #2-15 places her at the same location so we believe these two migrated south with 2-15 and 28-05 from Marathon County, WI.

24-17 is the young male crane I was monitoring in southern Dodge County, WI. PTT hits indicate he was still in Wisconsin on the 16th and then by the 19th he was in Jasper County, IN. He is very likely traveling with Sandhill cranes.

36-17 and 37-17 left Marathon County, WI on Nov. 12th. Sadly, the following day, number 37-17 was found dead beneath a powerline in Necedah, WI. Her remains were collected by Necedah Refuge Biologist Brad Strobel. 36-17 continued migrating and is currently in Jasper County, IN.

Female cranes 38-17 & 39-17 are the two birds released at Horicon National Wildlife Refuge. As of Nov. 21st they are both still at the refuge, although not together. Both have been associating with Sandhill cranes.

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  1. Linda Miller November 25, 2017 3:45 pm

    Today a beautiful warm day I’m watching some of the whooping cranes headed south into Indiana From Illinois we are on the Kankakee river @ willow sluogh area fishing ? beautiful

  2. Cheryl Murphy November 22, 2017 10:46 pm

    Thank you for the update Heather. So sorry to hear about 37-17. Hoping for a safe migration for the other precious cranes. Fair winds. Fly high.

  3. Cheryl N. November 22, 2017 4:59 pm

    So sorry about 37-17. Safe journey for all the others. Thank you for the update.

  4. Mindy Finklea November 22, 2017 10:59 am

    Thank you for the update Heather…so sorry to hear that
    37-17 has been lost. Bless her….she was doing the right thing until the power line interfered. So glad the others are going the right direction as well.

  5. Jean P. aka CrabtowneMd November 22, 2017 8:34 am

    Thank you for the update. It is wonderful to know that most of the PR colts are heading south. I was hoping your last line would say the “magnificent seven” were also starting migration. Hopefully the chilly temps and favorable winds will hustle their bustles southward today !

    • Heather Ray November 22, 2017 8:57 am

      Beginning tomorrow the next 10 days will be very warm.

  6. Linda Miller November 22, 2017 8:00 am

    Yes I love going to Jasper county Indiana & watching the sandhill cranes & whoopers join them . Lots of corn ? & grain there to eat