It’s Update Time!

Eastern Migratory Population – Whooping Crane Update – February 1, 2018 

Below is the most recent update for the Eastern Migratory Population of Whooping Cranes. In the last month Whooping Cranes have mostly stayed at their wintering grounds. A huge thank-you to the staff of Operation Migration, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Department of Natural Resources, the International Crane Foundation, and all of the volunteers who help us keep track of the cranes throughout the year. We appreciate your contribution to the recovery of the whooping crane eastern migratory population.

Population Estimate

The current estimated population size is 104 (48 F, 53 M, 3 U). As of 1 February, 1 Whooping Crane is still in Wisconsin, 3 in Illinois, 32 in Indiana, 8 in Kentucky, 6 in Tennessee, 33 in Alabama, 4 in Georgia, 7 in Florida, and 2 in Louisiana. The remaining birds’ locations have not been confirmed in the last month. See maps below.

2017 Wild-hatched chicks

W3_17 (U) is still with its parents (24_09 and 42_09) in Hopkins Co, KY.

W7_17 (F) is still with her parents (14_08 and 24_08) in Morgan Co, AL.

Parent-Reared 2017 Cohort

19_17 (M) and 25_17 (M) are still in Jackson Co, AL with adults 37_07 (M), 2_15 (F), and 28_05 (F).

28_17 (M) has been confirmed in Okeechobee Co, FL, not too far from adult 16_12 (M).

24_17 (M) is still with 63_15 (M) in Randolph Co, IL.

72_17 (M) is still in Hendry Co, FL.

30_17 (F) is still in Plaquemines Parish, LA.

38_17 (F) is still in Dodge Co, WI.

39_17 (F) is still in Jasper Co, IN.

36_17 (F) is still in Madison Co, FL and is now associating with sub-adult 71_16 (F).

Costume-Reared 2017 Cohort

3_17 (M) and 7_17 (F) are still in Morgan Co, AL at Wheeler NWR.

4_17 (M) and 6_17 (F) left Effingham Co, IL, and are now in Fulton Co, KY.

1_17 (M), 2_17 (F), and 8_17 (F) left Perry Co, TN, and are now in Talladega Co, AL.

Parent-Reared 2016 Cohort

29_16 (M) and 39_16 (M) are still in Dyer Co, TN.

30_16 (M) and 5_12 (M) are still at St. Mark’s NWR in Wakulla Co, FL.

31_16 (M) has not been seen since November in Wisconsin.

33_16 (F)’s satellite transmitter is firing off along the Mississippi River in Clinton Co, IA, however she has not been seen. We suspect she may be dead, but we have not yet removed her from the totals until we can confirm.

69_16 (F) is still at Wheeler NWR in Morgan Co, AL.

70_16 (M) is still in Knox County, KY.

71_16 (F) is still in Madison Co, FL and is now associating with parent-reared juvenile 36_17 (F).

Long-term missing

The following birds have not been seen for more than one year and have been removed from the estimated population total above: 8_05 (F), 39_07 (F), 11_09 (M), 18_09 (M), 8_10 (M), 6_11 (M)

Confirmed Whooping Crane locations as of 1 February 2018.

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  1. Cheryl Murphy February 4, 2018 3:40 pm

    Thank you for the update!

  2. Sue McCurdy February 3, 2018 9:29 pm

    Thanks Heather. Why are they staying up there where it’s cold? And why are there 33 in AL? What’s Alabama got that Florida hasn’t got? I think you should go get them and bring them down to St. Marks? Or better yet, bring them down to Paynes Prairie??

  3. Barb February 3, 2018 1:52 pm

    Hello, looking at the map, it seems most of the birds have chosen not to fly South, but rather stay midway between Wisconsin and Florida. Any speculation as to why? In the future, does this means their children will do as their parents? Thanks for the update.

  4. Di Lowe February 2, 2018 8:50 am

    Thank you so much for these updates. We so appreciate them 🙂