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Bird Bio's - Class of '01

The Whooping cranes are numbered according to the order in which they hatched at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center.  The first digit indicates the year in which they hatched, and the last two digits indicates the order in which they hatched. 

Example: crane #101 is the first hatch of 2001. Crane #110 was the tenth chick hatched in the year 2001. 

ID#
Personality Characteristics/Field Notes

101

  • Male
  • Personality Characteristics: Definitely rules the other birds. Often leads the flight directly behind the wing of the aircraft but has been seen at the end of the line. Dominant but mellow, and the most costume-friendly of all the birds.
  • History: Spring 2002: Returned to Necedah in the group of four, arriving April 19, 2002 after leaving Florida April 9. Paired up with Crane #2 for the summer, hanging around the training site where the 17 new 2002 chicks were being trained to fly with the ultralight.
    Fall 2002: The pair of #1 and #2 astonished the pilots by showing up and joining with the ultralight chicks and plane on November 24 during the fall migration in Tennessee. They flew five miles before breaking off to continue on their own! Spent the 2002-03 winter in Pasco County, Florida (about 20 miles north of the release pen) with Crane #2.
    Spring 2003:
    Left Florida on 25 March, 2003 with Crane #2 to migrate north--ahead of any of the Eastern flock. Arrived at Necedah on March 31 and spent the 2003 summer there. He and female #2 separated in spring 2003 after being together since migrating north on their own in spring 2002.
    Fall 2003:
    Headed south on November 7, 2003 by himself, and was reported back at his wintering spot in Pasco County, Florida on November 16.
    Spring 2004:
    Left on spring migration March 13 or 14, 2004 together with 102, 205, 208, 216, and 217. PTT readings indicated the group roosted in SW Indiana on March 22, but moved to DeKalb County, IL March 23 and stayed for the rest of the week. Arrived Necedah NWR on April 1, 2004. Left the other birds and went to the refuge area where he lived in summer 2003.
    Fall 2004: Remained at or near the Necedah NWR until Nov. 28, when he left with Crane #202. The two remained with large numbers of sandhill cranes in frozen, flooded farm fields in Jasper County, Indiana, until December 16. On that afternoon they moved to nearby Jasper-Pulaski SWFA. They resumed migration Dec. 17. On December 18th they were tracked to roost with approximately 100 sandhills in Monroe County, Kentucky. They completed their migration Dec. 20, arriving in Pasco County, FL. This is the same wintering location used by #101 during the previous two winters (2003-04, 2002-03). Shows signs of pair-bonding with #202, a year-younger female.
    Spring 2005:
    The pair 101 and 202 left their FL winter location on either March 12 or 13. Confirmed back at Necedah NWR in WI by March 29. They established a territory near the south end of south Upper Rice Pool on the refuge. They remained on their territory except on 15 April, when they spent much of the day near Mauston. But on 16 April #202 sitting as if incubating in the marsh southeast of the pen at Site 4. On 17 April the two birds left and spent the day in farmland south of the refuge. A check of the nest site indicated that one egg had
    been laid, but it had apparently been destroyed during the previous night (quite common for first-time breeders to leave the egg unprotected). They did not return to the refuge until 21 April. Then the pair #101 and #202 stayed the summer on/near their territory at Site 4, Necedah NWR.
    Fall 2005: Breeding pair #101 and #202 began migration November 17 along with #208. On Nov. 30, #101 and his mate #202 returned to the same Citrus County, Florida area where they wintered at last year. Home!
    Spring 2006:
    #101 (and mate #202) left on migration from Citrus County, FL on March 12. They arrived at Wisconsin's Necedah NWR on March 18, where they settled on their old territory. They began incubating on April 7, but the eggs were lost to a predator by April 16.

Banding:
R/G/R

Mate:
202

102
  • Female
  • Personality Characteristics: Largest female. Often aggressive and will sometimes challenge the handlers.Has a damaged beak from injury-- the upper and lower mandibles do not meet at the tip. This makes her recognizable in the air where she is often in the lead position. Tends to attack the vet. Voice is starting to change--going through puberty. Alarm calls with slight crackle. Sometimes drops back to fly on Deke's wing.
  • History: Spring 2002: Returned to Necedah in the group of four, arriving April 19, 2002 after leaving Florida April 9. Paired up with Crane #101 for the summer, hanging around the training site where the 17 new HY 02 chicks were being trained to fly with the ultralight. Pilots and "swamp monster" drove them off many times.
    Fall 2002:
    Astonished the pilots by showing up with #101 and joining with the ultralight chicks and plane on November 24 in Tennessee. They flew five miles before breaking off to continue on their own! Spent the 2002-03 winter in Pasco County, Florida (about 20 miles north of the release pen) with Crane #101. Spring 2003: Left Florida on 25 March with Crane #101 to migrate north--ahead of any of the Eastern flock in spring 2003. (As of March 8, 2003, her radio transmitter and PTT had both stopped functioning so she is no longer trackable.) Confirmed back at Necedah on March 29/April 1, 2003, along with Crane #101 from her cohort. These two separated later in spring 2003; they had been together since migrating north on their own in spring 2002.

    Fall 2003:
    She left Necedah on Nov. 13, along with seven of the 2002 birds. This group of eight arrived at the pen site at Chassahowitzka November 21, 2003. During their entire journey south, the group stayed together and was never seen migrating with Sandhill cranes.
    This group moved to Pasco County shortly after arriving in FL. Together with four other birds, she split from the group and moved to the same area of Pasco Cty. where she spent last winter with male #1 from the 2001 cohort.
    Spring 2004:
    Left on spring migration March 13 or 14, together with 101, 205, 208, 216, and 217. PTT readings indicated the group roosted in SW Indiana on March 22, but moved to DeKalb County, IL March 23 and stayed for the rest of the week. Arrived Necedah NWR on April 1, 2004 but later spent time in Jackson County and elsewhere. Returned to Necedah May 18, where she is hanging out with #208.
    Fall 2004: The pair #102 and #208 began migration from Necedah NWR on Dec. 1st. Checked and confirmed near the intersection of Will, Grundy, and Kankakee Counties, Illinois, on Dec. 14th. Detected in flight just east of Decatur, Alabama on the afternoon of Dec. 23rd. They arrived at the winter pen site on the afternoon of Dec. 30th. #102 is showing signs of possible pair-bonding with younger male #208. Spring 2005: #102 and #208 departed on migration from Pasco County, Florida on March 19 and were back at Necedah on March 31! The pair broke up back at Necedah as soon as they finished migration. In fall, #102 let the DAR chicks hang out with her. Will she help these new chicks learn their migration route?
    Fall 2005:
    Began migration November 17 with #212. They later joined whoopers #203 and#317, and #301 and #311 in flight. They roosted on a pond in Will County, Illinois. The group migrated Nov. 18 to a point SW of Indianapolis, Indiana. They remain in Marion County, IN since Nov. 26. The pair arrived on a ranch in Pasco County, Florida on December 22. They hung out with #105, #204, #208, #205 and #313, particularly on roost at night. They were often with or near large groups
    of migratory sandhill cranes.
    Spring 2006:
    Crane #102 (together with #208 and #212) began migration from a cattle ranch in Pasco County, Florida on February 28. They were reported in Greene
    County, Indiana, from March 7-12. Crane #102 and #212 arrived at their Wisconsin summer home March 18 or 19 and are on territory. Then #102 left #212 on March 25. She was confirmed in Adams County, WI April 17 in the same general area where she was found in April of 2005. Her radio transmitter had failed, but that was fixed on July 15 after she came back to Necedah and could be caught to get a new battery.

Banding:
R

 

103

  • Male
  • Personality Characteristics: Died in October wind storm during first journey south. The pen was knocked down by high winds and the escaped bird hit a power line while flying in the dark.

Banding:
W/R/G

 

104
  • Male
  • Personality Characteristics: Also has a funny beak, not as funny as #2. Breaks away. Has recovered from earlier training wing injury. Can fly very well but has a bad habit of dropping out of the formation. Encouraged Crane #6 to leave too. Not allowed to fly again on the first trip south due to this behavior and the fear he'll lead other birds astray. Travels in a shipping container to each site and spends the remainder of each day and night with the flock. The flight team hopes this bonding will help him fly north with the flock in spring. Killed December 17, 2001 by a bobcat after being on the Chassowitzka wintering grounds just a few days.

Banding:
R/W/G

Mate:
105

105
  • Male
  • Personality Characteristics: When anyone other than Dan enters pen he gets very aggressive. He's fine with Dan. Second most dominant bird and definitely the "policeman" of the flock, approaching and then checking anyone that enters the pen. Often aggressive to handlers that wear different shoes or boots. If a handler holds the puppet in a submissive position, number 5 will challenge it. Dropped out of the ultralight southbound migration flight between sites 11 and 12 but was retrieved.
  • History: Spring 2002: Returned to Necedah in the group of four, arriving April 19, 2002 after leaving Florida April 9. Migrated to Florida in fall 2002 and spent the winter in the pen at Chassahowitzka with the new chicks hatched in 2002 that migrated in year two of the ultralight project. He turned into a bit of a bully.
    Spring 2003:
    Departed Chassahowitzka with the sixteen 2002 chicks on spring migration April 1. He stayed with several of the 2002 chicks throughout the migration north. Spent summer 2003 about 10-12 miles from Necedah, in the company of three 2002 females #204, #209, and #218 and returned to the Refuge the last week in October 2003.
    Fall 2003:
    Trackers found him (flying with younger cranes #204 and #218) while they were in flight Nov. 20, 2003, over Georgia. They flew after dark, roosting in SW Georgia. On November 21, 2003, these three landed at the pen site at Chassahowitzka. They later flew to Hernando County, but returned on Jan. 8, 2004 to the the pen site. They settled in and harassed the young 2003 chicks in the pen, defending and taking over a feeding station! After Crane #214 showed up at the pen site Feb. 7, 2004, the three older birds already there did more unison calling and chased her, too.
    Spring 2004:
    Left on spring migration March 27, 2004, together with #218 and #204. They were tracked and landed to roost in Crisp Cty, GA nearly 9 hours later. Stopped overnight in Indiana April 1. Confirmed back at Necedah with #204 and #218 on April 7, 2004.
    Fall 2004: Reported at Hiwassee State Wildlife Refuge in Meigs County, TN Nov. 10 and remained there (bad weather) until at least Nov. 24. Observed at the Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge, Florida on Nov. 26. Checked in at the pen site but moved on after finding nobody home and no free food. Together with Crane #204, remained on a cattle ranch in Hernando County, FL until Dec. 17, when the pair returned to the pen site at Chassahowitzka NWR. these two have been together since #204's first spring migration. Will they become mates?
    Spring 2005:
    Left Chassahowitzka pen site in Florida, along with #204 and the remaining chick #412 on March 30. No aggression by the two older cranes toward the younger one, reported ICF trackers who observed the trio at their first night roost in Georgia. On April 5 the two adults left juvenile #412. On April 6, #105 and #204 completed migration to Mill Bluff State Park, Juneau County, Wisconsin. On April 7 the pair moved to their territory on Necedah NWR.
    Fall 2005:
    On Aug. 22, Cranes #105 and #204 moved from their territory on Sprague Pool (Necedah NWR) to Mill Bluff State Park, WI. This was the first movement from their territory since 20 May. They stayed in the park and were often with other whooping cranes in the area. The pair began migration on November 21. They were seen at their last year's winter home on a ranch in Hernando County, FL on Nov. 27. They continued to the chick pen at Chassahowitzka NWR but left Nov. 30, returning to their former ranch site. Home! The pair returned to Chassahowitzka Dec. 14 from nearby Stafford Lake and remained to roost at the pen site. They moved around a bit, staying in nearby counties, and were on a Pasco County ranch with a few other whoopers by end of December.
    Spring 2006: Began migration (with #204) March 20-22. No reports received during migration.They were found back on their territory on Necedah NWR, on April 6.

Banding:
R/G

106
  • Male
  • Personality Characteristics: Dropped out of the flight on the first day with Crane # 4 but managed to complete the flight after much effort from Deke and Bill. Also dropped out of the flight between sites 10 and 11 and was finally retrieved the next day.
  • History: Spring 2002: Returned to Necedah in the group of four, arriving April 19, 2002 after leaving Florida April 9. Migrated south in Fall 2002 and stayed at Hiwassee Refuge in Tennessee for several weeks before finishing his migration. Arrived in Florida January 4, 2003, briefly joining sandhill cranes and female Crane #7 in Madison County Florida before moving a few miles away from them. He departed Madison Co. FL on Feb. 15, 2002 and was seen flying over southern Georgia among a flock of Sandhill cranes. Trackers lost him until he was spotted by ICF Intern Colleen Satyshur on March 26, 2003 in Dodge County, Wisconsin. Colleen said: "After so many reports coming in from birders and refuge biologists, it was exciting to finally confirm the sightings of #106. I followed #106 south in the fall, so it was like old times tracking him again." Then his radio antenna broke so he could not be tracked. After departing Necedah Refuge on May 10, 2003, wasn't seen again until the last week of October. He was back at Necedah, and left on fall 2004 migration on November 7. He was staging with san hill cranes in Columbia County, WI on Nov. 19, and was seen again arriving late on Nov. 20 at the Jasper Pulaski State Fish and Wildlife Area in north Indiana. He showed up Jan 3, 2004 in Alachua County, FL.
    Spring 2004: He left Alachua Cty. FL on Feb. 23, 2004 and his location, as well as female #107's, was unknown until March 9, 2004. He was seen migrating over Gainesville, FL with a flock of sandhill cranes. March 13 he was observed in a flock of 21 sandhills migrating through Monroe County, Indiana. On March 18 a whooper (#106) was spotted flying east to west over Interstate 94 at mile marker 141---on a day when it was snowing gangbusters at Necedah NWR. On March 21 and 22, #106 was confirmed back in Wisconsin, the first to return in spring 2003 AND spring 2004. He stayed in Jackson County in summer 04.
    Fall 2004: Began migration from southeastern Clark/northeastern Jackson Counties, Wisconsin, on November 21. He was spotted on a cattle ranch in Lake County, Florida, on December 13. He remained there with migratory sandhill cranes as well as some of the non-migratory Whooping cranes that live there year round. In February he moved to Levy County and then to Allah County, with migratory sandhill cranes.
    Spring 2005:
    A crane believed to be #106 was reported with migrating sandhill cranes in Meigs County, TN on 7 March. Local residents of Jackson County, Wisconsin reported observing him on or near Carwfor Creek Cranberry since March 30. He was seen paired and nest building with a sandhill crane on April 9. (He has associated mainly with sandhill cranes. The small size (five returning birds) of this 2001 cohort resulted in limited chances for social bonding with other whooping cranes by the first individuals (#107 and #106) to separate from the group. When checked on 22 April, #106 was found hidden and alone in a wet area in the edge of a woods near his territory. He had fractured his left tarsus sometime between April 12 and 22. Because he was unable to bear weight on the fractured leg, he remained secluded in woody cover and was not roosting in water. The monitoring team watched him closely through a spotting scope. They wanted to see if supplemental food could be provided without disturbing the bird or attracting predators (wolves, coyotes). In some cranes, fractures have healed without human intervention. They all hoped #106's leg would heal by itself. He was last observed alive on April 29.
    On May 3, 2005 crane #106 was found dead in a wetland at the edge of a wooded area in Jackson County, Wisconsin. He had been killed by a predator, most likely within 2 days before his remains were discovered. This was the 9th death among 53 birds released during the first 4 years of the reintroduction. Six of those mortalities happened within 2004-2005.
Banding:
R/G | R
107
  • Female
  • Personality Characteristics: Subservient bird that dropped out between sites 5 and 6 and between sites 11 and 12 of the migration and was retrieved. Kept to herself and was "low bird" in the pecking order. Later, elusive and independent.
  • History: Spring 2002: Left Florida April 12 with the flock of 5 survivors, but split off over Tennessee to continue the migration all by herself. She was last to arrive back at the Necedah site: May 3, 2002. She spent the 2002 summer about 75 miles from Necedah, in the company of sandhill cranes.
    Fall 2002:
    She was the first of this group to migrate to Florida, arriving in her old pen November 22. She moved and lived with sandhill cranes in Madison County, Florida for the winter.
    Spring 2003:
    She left Florida sometime between Feb. 18 and March 1, 2002. She returned for summer 2003 to her favorite place at Wisconsin's Horicon National Wildlife Refuge.
    Fall 2003:
    She was identified November 16 at Hiwassee Refuge in TN, and again (still at Hiwassee) Nov. 21, along with female crane 201 (#1 from 2002).
    Spring 2004:
    She was not seen again until March 12, 2004, when the Kaldenbachs of Roane County, TN reported a sighting and sent a photo to Operation Migration. She has a nonfunctional transmitter so cannot be tracked. She seems to like playing hide and seek! Identified by her color bands with 4 sandhill cranes in Starke County, Indiana (near the Jasper-Pulaski State Wildlife Area) on March 26, 2004. Seen on March 27 with sandhills in Cook County, Illinois. Confirmed "home" April 11, 2004 at Horicon Refuge in Wisconsin, where she spent the two previous summers. Un-trackable because of a dead  battery in her transmitter.
    Fall 2004:
    On Nov. 8 the elusive, untrackable #107 was found--thanks to the radio signal of crane #418 detected in flight. As the airborne tracking team observed #418 amid a flock of sandhill cranes, they also noticed another Whooping crane--#107--in the flock! Young #418, who was unable to make the first migration with his ultralight flock, had joined up with these other migrating cranes. However, again, as roost time neared, 418 landed along the Cumberland River in Tennessee, while 107 continued slightly farther downstream. Both stayed at their selected locations on Nov. 9th due to poor migration conditions. Crane #107 was at Hiwassee State Wildlife Refuge in Meigs County, TN on Nov. 10, with several other "ultra-whoopers" from the new Eastern flock. On Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge with a wintering Sandhill flock most of the winter, but a possible sighting of 107 took place in Hardin County, Kentucky in early March 2005.
    Spring 2005:
    She turned up at her usual summer home--Horicon National Wildlife Refuge in Dodge County, WI--on March 14, 2005. But on April 13, she was confirmed in a sedge marsh 20 miles east of Necedah NWR! She was in a group containing whooping crane #102 and four sandhill cranes. Until now, Crane #107 had not been at Necedah NWR since May 4, 2002 after completing her first spring migration. After hanging out with #102 and some sandhill cranes for the next several weeks, she was spotted back at the Horicon Marsh in the territory she has occupied for the last four summers. Joe Duff pointed out, "It is interesting to note that as she approached breeding maturity this spring (2005), she did return close to the Necedah area. It is almost as if the urge to find a mate brought her back, but it was not strong enough to bring her all the way home. We will have to see what happens next (2006) breeding season." She apparently remained on Horicon NWR and nearby farm fields all summer. Due to a broken transmitter, she can't be tracked.
    Fall 2005:
    Confirmed visually at Jasper-Pulaski SWA, northwestern Indiana, November 17. This is a major stopver area for migrating eastern sandhill cranes, and about 15,000 sandhills were there on this date. She was next reported at the end of November at Hiwassee NWR (TN), when the 2005 ultralight chicks and other cranes were also there. She was seen again on Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge, Meigs County, on January 5, 2006, Feb. 1 and again on Feb. 8. A whooping crane believed to be #107 was reported with large numbers of migrating sandhills in Indiana on 15 February 15! Her transmitter is nonfunctional, and she cannot be tracked.
    Spring 2006:
    She apparently began migration in mid-February from her wintering area at Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge in Tennessee. She was reported on March 9 in Indiana, with migrating sandhill cranes. A crane in IL on March 11 may have been #107 and a reported crane in WI March 15-20 could have been #107. Confirmed April 17 in Adams County, WI. Along with #102, she was in the same general area where both birds were found in April of 2005. They were not together, and #102 tried several times unsuccessfully to chase #107 from the field. So far, 107 has summered alone each year in the Horicon, WI area. She has not been electronically tracked since her transmitter stopped working in April 2003. A banded whooping crane believed to be #107 was reported in a large sandhill flock near Horicon NWR in Dodge County, WI on October 13.
    Fall 2006: She's underway! After being reported with staging sandhill cranes near
    Wisconsin's Horicon NWR on 27 October, a banded whooping crane believed to be #107 was reported onJasper-Pulaski SFWA in Indiana the next day: October 28!
Banding:
W/R
109
  • Female
  • Personality Characteristics: Injured her wing during early training while still at Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. Wing feathers grew in with deformities so she wasn't suitable for migration. Removed from the study, she went to the New Orleans Audubon Zoo in fall, 2001. The public can see Crane #109 on display.
110
  • Female
  • Personality Characteristics: Most subservient bird in the group; not aggressive to the costume. Has been seen in the lead position during flight, but is also known to occupy last position. Killed by a bobcat in January 2002, just weeks after arriving in Florida.

Banding:
W/G/R

111
  • Male
  • Personality Characteristics: A good bird, loyal to the plane and the costume during training.
    Died September 11, 2001
    from capture myopathy after the pre-migration health check and banding procedure earlier on that day.

 

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