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Bird Bio's - Class of '02

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 #201 is the first hatch of 2002. Crane #212 was the twelfth chick hatched in the year 2002. 

ID#
Chick Photo
Personality Characteristics/Field Notes
Fledged Photo

201

  • Female
  • Hatched April 12th
  • Personality Characteristics: Weight at pre-migratory health check: 6.2 kg. Always easy to work with and a good follower. Buddies with #2, another oldest female. These two often pick on the smaller cranes. Cut her leg and required stitches when she bumped into the ultralight on the 3rd leg of the first migration, but rejoined the cohort the same day. Flew well on remaining flights but dropped out on the 4th leg. During the first winter in Florida, she started showing aggression towards her old buddy, Crane #2. She displaced #2 from the feeders, the water guzzler, or wherever she happened to be by pecking at and chasing her a short distance. "This aggression is very minor, but is an interesting change in their behavior and relationship," reported Sara Zimorski.
  • History: Spring 2003: Left Chassahowitzka NWR on first journey north April 1, 2003 with 14 other whoopers and returned successfully to Wisconsin with the group, arriving April 13 and 14. Wandered during the summer and seemed to prefer staying in Minnesota's Dodge County. She's hard to keep track of because both her radio and satellite transmitters have failed, but she returned to western Wisconsin by 2003 summer's end.
    Fall 2003:
    Left on migration from Necedah around November 7, flying independently. Seen at Hiwassee Wildlife Area in Tennessee (the halfway point of the southward migration) Nov. 17 and 21. Satellite reading showed she arrived in Florida November 25 and roosted in Madison Cty. with a large flock of sandhill cranes. In Pasco County, Fl with #209, #211 and #212 from her cohort until she moved December 4 to Marion County, FL. She later broke from the group and went to Lake County, FL by herself.
    Spring 2004:
    Left on spring migration from Lake County, FL on April 6, but was "missing in action" until July 30, 2004, when she was confirmed in south-central in Michigan among sandhill cranes. She did not return to Wisconsin.
    Fall 2004:
    Crane #201 began migration from Kalamazoo County, MI on or shortly after November 2. Detected flying alone over Illinois Nov. 7. Reported at Hiwassee State Wildlife Refuge in Meigs County, TN November 10. Departed from Hiwassee to resume migration on Dec. 12. Wintered at Lake Woodruff NWR, Florida.
    Spring 2005: She returned to Wisconsin! Roosted in Adams County, WI on April 3 with crane #306. By April 6 the two had moved to Juneau County, WI. They were seen in and around Necedah NWR throughout the summer.
    Fall 2005:
    Began migration with #306 on Nov. 17 and was confirmed that night at Jasper-Pulaski SWA in Indiana. Next reported (with #306) the end of November at Hiwassee NWR (TN) when the 2005 ultralight chicks and other cranes were also there. She and #306 arrived at Lake Woodruff NWR, Florida, on December 20--where they spent the winter of 2004-05.
    Spring 2006: Began migration (with #306) on March 27 or 28. No reports received during migration. She and 306 were found back on their territory in Wood County, WI on April 6. (They may have arrived on April 4.)

Banding:
R/W | G

Mate:
306

202
  • Female
  • Hatched April 16th
  • Personality Characteristics: Weight at pre-migratory health check: 6.0 kg. A "weirdo with a bit more spunk," causing trouble on her own at times. Quite bonded to the costumes and often picks on the crane handlers. Cautious and slow to come out of the pen.
  • History: Spring 2003: Left Chassahowitzka NWR on first journey north April 1, 2003 with 14 other whoopers and returned successfully to Wisconsin April 13. Spent the 2003 summer about 15 miles from Necedah NWR with flock mates 217, 211, 212, 213 and 216.
    Fall 2003:
    Together with #213, started her fall migration from Necedah on November 7. Arrived with #213 in Suwanee County, FL on Nov. 21, where the pair stayed.
    Spring 2004:
    They apparently began their spring journey together on March 20, as PTT readings indicate they spent that night in east-central Georgia. From March 24 - 29, PTT readings indicated they were in Jackson County, IN. Confirmed April 2 (with #213) in Tipecanoe County, Indiana. Seen April 6 in Dane Cty, WI and confirmed back at Necedah on April 7.
    Fall 2004: Remained at or near the Necedah NWR until Nov. 28, when she left with Crane #101. 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. On Dec. 20th they completed their southward migration, arriving in Pasco County, FL. This is the same wintering location #101 used during the previous two winters (2003-04, 2002-03). Shows possible pairing behavior with #101.
    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 in first-time breeders).The pair came back again to the refuge on 21 April.
    Fall 2005: Breeding pair #101 and #202 began migration November 17 along with #208. On Nov. 30, #202 and her mate #101 returned to the same Citrus County, Florida area where they wintered at last year. Home!
    Spring 2006:
    #202 (and mate #101) 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 on April 16 the eggs were lost to a predator.

Banding:
R/W | G/W

Mate:
101

203

  • Female
  • Hatched April 17th
  • Personality Characteristics: Weight at pre-migratory health check: 6.6 kg. At Patuxent, was very private and independent and watchful. Avoided the rest of the flock, an "odd bird" from the start. Later, became a great flyer and very good at following the plane. Resists changes and is a bit of a rebel. She sometimes dropped out and turned back during lights. High on the dominance scale. Here's proof: When yearling Cranes #1 and #2 showed up on the Necedah training site, this year's #3 is the crane who joined with the costumes to chase the intruder cranes away. High on the dominance scale. On day 1 of the migration, she dropped out and returned unaided to the pen site at Necedah. Also dropped out on the 3rd leg. During the first winter in Florida, she developed an attitude. Crane monitor Sara Zimorski reported, "She displaces many of the younger females, especially #17 and #18, usually from the feeders, and sometimes from what seems to be a random area. She’ll also stand her ground longer when larger and more dominant birds challenge or attempt to displace her. It seems she might be coming back around, because initially #3 was a very independent chick, which made training her very challenging. With a lot of hard work, she came around and turned into a great bird. However, somewhere in the process of integrating all 17 birds prior to migration, she became more submissive and cautious within the large group. Recently, she seems to have gotten back some of her confidence and independence. She’s not letting herself be pushed around as much anymore, and is instead pushing around some of the younger and less dominant chicks."
  • History: Spring 2003: Left Florida in the group of 15 (includes one 2001 bird) and arrived Wisconsin April 13. Wandered in her first summer. She and other females #207 and #215 stayed in South Dakota--too close to the Aransas/Wood Buffalo Whooping cranes and outside the NEP area--so were captured and returned to Necedah August 17-18. She flew briefly with the ultralight one day after her return! She stayed around the Refuge until she reunited with #215 on August 29, and both flew to northeastern Iowa.
    Fall 2003:
    She and #215 began migration from Iowa on November 8, and completed their migration 7 days later, the first "white birds" to arrive in Florida for winter 2003-04. After staying at the pen site, they later moved and were seen Nov. 21 in a marsh in Hillsborough County, FL. Then the two moved to Sumter County, where they stayed.
    Spring 2004:
    Left on spring migration after April 11, 2004. Finally, 203 & 215 were reported in Meeker Co. Minnesota, between April 17-18. (These are two of the three females that wandered west into South Dakota in spring 2003.) Reported back at Necedah April 19!
    Fall 2004: Cranes 203, 215 and 216 began migration from Monroe County, Wisconsin, on November 21. They left Greene County, IN on December 14. They roosted that night along the Cumberland River in Davidson County, Tennessee. On Dec. 15 the trio flew to Limestone County, Alabama. They remained there in harvested cornfields and floodings until Dec. 23rd, when #215 separated from the other two birds. Cranes 203 and 216 arrived at the winter pen site on the afternoon of Dec. 28. Moved to a ranch in Lake County, FL for most of the winter.
    Spring 2005:
    Began migration with #216 during March 22-24 and was back at Necedah March 29! In May, observed nest building with #317 on the Refuge. The pair stayed around their established territory all summer.
    Fall 2005:
    She was captured Nov. 11 (after 4 tries) at Necedah NWR so her dead radio transmitter could be replaced. Began migration Nov. 17 with #317. The pair later joined in flight with #102, #212, #301 and #311. They roosted that night at a pond in Will County, IL. The group continued Nov. 18 to roost on a river SW of Indianapolis, IN.
    On Dec. 22 they were detected in flight north of Gainesville, Florida. They landed at the Chassahowitzka NWR pen at 5:50 PM! They moved to Sumter County, FL the next day, but returned to check out the Chass pen on Dec. 24.
    Spring 2006:
    #203 and mate #317 left Florida on Feb. 1 with pair #301 and #311. They were last tracked on 2 February, when they were in flight over northcentral Okefenokee Swamp. They were on a heading for the place in South Carolina where #317 had wintered one year earlier. They arrived back on their territory at Wisconsin's Necedah NWR on March 18 or 19. They began incubating on or by April 7. The eggs were lost to a predator on April 15 or 16.On July 25, the remains of #203 were discovered just SE of her nesting marsh. She appeared to have been killed by a predator, possibly on July 22. The drought-stricken area had much vegetation but very little water for safe roosting.
 

Banding:
R/W | W/G/W

Mate:
317

204
  • Female
  • Hatched April 19th
  • Personality Characteristics: Weight at pre-migratory health check: 5.8 kg. She was heaviest of all the chicks at hatching. Strong--hatched from her shell in record time. A fairly quiet girl, she ranks in the middle of the dominance order. Never gives any trouble. Dan says she is one of the only two Whoopers that he knows of that doesn't like smelt (tiny fish used for treats).
  • History: Successfully migrated north in spring 2003, leaving Florida in the group of 15 (includes one 2001 bird) and arriving Wisconsin April 13. Spent the summer about 10-12 miles from the Necedah Refuge with #209 and #218. Returned to the Refuge the last week of October, 2003, as did #218 and last year's #5 (105).
    Fall 2003:
    Migrating together, 105, 204 and 218 were found by trackers while in flight Nov. 20 over Georgia. They flew after dark, roosting in SW Georgia. On November 21 the group of three landed at the pen site at Chassohowitzka, migration complete! With #105 and #218, later flew to Hernando County, but returned on Jan. 8, 2004 to the the pen site to create trouble. They harassed the young 2003 chicks in the pen and took over a feeding station!
    Spring 2004:
    Left on spring migration March 27, 2004, together with #105 and #218. They landed to roost in Crisp County, GA at 6:15 that evening. Stopped overnight in Indiana April 1. Confirmed back at Necedah with #105 and #218 on April 7, 2004.
    Fall 2004: Arrived Nov. 7 at the Jasper Pulaski State Fish and Wildlife Area north of Medaryville, IN. along with the big male, #105. Reported at Hiwassee State Wildlife Refuge in Meigs County, TN on November 10. Observed at the Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge, Florida on Nov. 26. She moved away from the pen site after finding nobody home and no free food. Still together with Crane #105, the two remained on a cattle ranch in Hernando County, FL but occasionally visited the pen site at Chassahowitzka NWR. Will this pair become mates?
    Spring 2005:
    Began migration along with #105 and #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! As of April 16, no nesting behavior was observed.
    Fall 2005:
    On Aug. 22, Cranes #105 and #204 moved from their territory on Sprague Pool (Necedah NWR) to Mill Bluff State Park. This was the first movement from their territory since 20 May. 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. (Good! The pen is for the new chicks.) 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:
    Still in FL (with #105) on March 20; began migration March 20-22. No reports received during migration.They were found back on their territory on Necedah NWR, on April 6.

Banding:
R/W | R/G/W

Mate:
105

205
  • Male
  • Hatched April 22nd
  • Personality Characteristics: A good-sized male who would often pick on the other chicks when he was young. He chums around with Crane #4. He used to follow Crane #3 back to the pen when this rebel bird 3 would drop out of training flights. Ranked in the middle of dominance until he became top bird during the winter 2002-03 in Florida, displacing #13 from "first place."
  • History: Successfully migrated north in spring 2003, leaving Florida in the group of 15 (which included one 2001 bird) and arriving Wisconsin April 13. He spent part of the summer in the southwest area of Wisconsin, but his radio signal was detected on the Necedah Refuge again on June 15. He was in the company of crane #102 from the first year's (2001) ultralight whoopers.
    Fall 2003:
    Began migration on Nov. 13 with six flock mates and #102 from the 2001 flock. This group of eight arrived at the pen site at Chassahowitzka November 21, 2003. During their entire 2003 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. Five of them, including #205, split from the group and moved to the same area of Pasco County that #101 and #102 (2001 birds) occupied in winter 2002.
    Spring 2004:
    Left on spring migration around March 13, together with 101, 102, 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. The group arrived back at Necedah NWR on April 1, 2004.
    Fall 2004: #205 & 306 departed Necedah NWR Nov. 7 and flew that day to Iroquois County, IL. Next reported at Hiwassee State Wildlife Refuge in Meigs County, TN from November 10 through about Dec. 18. Shortly after, #205 and #418 (the only 2004 chick who was left behind when his cohort made their first journey south with the ultralight) were sighted at the Hixtown Swamp in Florida--migration complete! Apparently, #205 showed new chick #418 the way to Florida after they found each other in Tennessee. The two settled near where #205 spent last winter, and are on a ranch in central Florida where cranes #211, 212 and 217 also are wintering. Wonderful!
    Spring 2005:
    Cranes #205, 211, 212 & 217 left Pasco County, FL between March 10 and March 12. Reported on March 13 in Blount County, Tennessee. Confirmed back at Necedah NWR in Wisconsin by March 29. Male #205 didn't pair up with a female.
    Fall 2005:
    Began migration on Nov. 24 with #313. Not tracked. They reached #205's winter home on a Pasco County ranch in Florida, where he wintered last year, on December 1. By the end of December, at least 100 sandhill cranes were there along with whooping cranes#102, #212, #208, #105, and #204. The pair (#205/#313) unison-called when the newly arrived whooping cranes flew over them and #205 was aggressive toward the other birds; but the 7 whooping cranes roosted together on December 23 and 24. Spring 2006: Crane #205 (together with #313) began migration from a cattle ranch in Pasco County, Florida on February 28. A pair of cranes reported March 3 in Indiana could have been this pair. They were confirmed home in Wisconsin March 17.
Banding:
R/W | G/R/W
207
  • Female
  • Hatched April 27th
  • Personality Characteristics: Big, strong and sassy. Kelly and Dan say "She's got attitude." She sticks up for herself against the costume and other flock mates. Her buddy is Crane #208. When migration began, she dropped out on the 1st leg and returned unaided to the pen site at Necedah. Didn't exit pen at Sauk Co. site and made the trip in a crate that day. She was a drop-out on the 4th leg of the journey south. During the first winter in Florida, she was a rather submissive, low ranking female who rarely bothered anyone, but who was bullied by 2001 Crane #5.
  • History: Successfully migrated north in spring 2003, leaving Florida in the group of 15 (including one 2001 bird) and arriving Wisconsin April 13. Wandered in her first summer. She and other females #203 and #215 stayed in South Dakota--too close to the Aransas/Wood Buffalo Whooping cranes and outside the NEP area--and were captured and returned to Necedah August 17-18. She was the largest and dominant of the three, but she suffered capture myopathy from the stress of being captured. She was humanely euthanized at ICF August 30, 2003 when it was apparent she could not recover.
Banding:
R/W | G/W/G
208
  • Male
  • Hatched May 2nd
  • Personality Characteristics: Large male, very spunky, with two little pink bald spots on his head. He was the most dominant bird in Cohort 1, the first group of chicks to arrive at Necedah for 2002 training. During the first winter in Florida , aviculturalist Lara said, "He wants to be dominant. He acts tough toward the costume, often challenging and threatening us when we go in the pen, but is very often displaced by birds in the flock." Bullied by Yearling (2001) Crane #5 during the winter of 2002-03.
  • History: Successfully migrated north in spring 2003, leaving Florida in the group of 15 (including one 2001 bird) and arriving Wisconsin April 13. He spent part of the summer in the southwest area of Wisconsin along with #205, and apparently chose to stay there even when #205 returned to the Refuge.
    Fall 2003:
    Began migration on Nov. 13 with six flock mates and #2 from the 2001 flock. 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. Five of them, including #208, split from the group and moved to the same area of Pasco Cty. that #1 and #2 (2001 birds) occupied in winter 2002.
    Spring 2004:
    Left on spring migration around March 13, 2004 together with 101, 102, 205, 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. The group arrived back at Necedah NWR on April 1, 2004.
    Fall 2004: The pair #102 and #208 began migration from Necedah NWR on Dec. 1st. Checked and confirmed at a point in 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.
    Spring 2005: #208 and #102 departed on migration from Pasco County, Florida on March 19 and were back at Necedah on March 31! He often intruded on the territory of pair #101 and #202 and was driven off by #101. He was seen several times with #313 during the summer. In the fall, #208 often aggravated and challenged #101 on #101's territory.
    Fall 2005: Began migration November 17 with #101 and #202. They roosted on a pond in Will County, Illinois. The group continued Nov. 18 to a point SW of Indianapolis, Indiana. #208 arrived at the Chassahowitzka NWR pen site in Florida on Dec. 22 and left the next day for a ranch in Pasco County, FL. where several other whoopers and many sandhill cranes were.
    Spring 2006: Crane #208 (together with #212 and #102) began migration from a cattle ranch in Pasco County, Florida on February 28. He was with the pair in Greene
    County, Indiana, March 7-12. He arrived back at Wisconsin's Necedah NWR March 18 or 19.
Banding:
R/W | W/G
209
  • Female
  • Hatched May 9th
  • Personality Characteristics: Weight at pre-migratory health check: 5.0 kg. One of the two youngest. Small. She wants to be close to the costume ("Mommy"). She is also very bonded to the trike and is a good flyer. She likes to fly near and tight to the trike, rather than out behind the wing where she can benefit from the air current off the wing tip. She has to flap-fly when she's up close to the trike, which could make her tired. The caretakers say she's a crybaby and always wants to be near them. During the first winter in Florida, she was probably the most submissive bird in the flock, but yearling Crane #105 seemed to like her and protect her, even as he bullied some of the other chicks.
  • History: Spring 2003: Left Chassahowitzka NWR on first journey north April 1, 2003 with all the rest, but hesitated and turned back alone. Made the migration by herself, wandering off track. After a hide-and-seek game from ground and air in 3 states, she was captured, crated, and flown from Ohio to Necedah in a plane on May 4. After leaving the group for 4 days and then returning, she spent the summer of 2003 around Necedah NWR. Because she missed 391 miles (6 flight segments with the ultralight) and was flown back to Necedah, the pilots and handlers were concerned. How will she find the Florida wintering grounds on the 2003 journey south if she chooses again to travel alone? Spent the summer about 10-12 miles from the Necedah Refuge with #204 and #218.
    Fall 2003:
    Began migration on Nov. 13 with six flock mates and #2 from the 2001 flock. 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.
    Spring 2004:
    On March 18, 2004, #9 departed from the Pasco County winter location with Cranes 211 and 212 and spent that night in southern Georgia. Since she made the fall 2003 journey south without getting lost, everyone is hopeful that she'll be able to simply reverse course and arrive back in central WI and NOT Ohio. Sure enough, that's what she did! The three whoopers roosted in McHenry County, IL on March 25 and 26. They were next seen at Necedah National Wildlife Refuge--HOME!--most likely returning on March 27, 2004. Separated from the other two males by March 29 but stayed in the local area.
    Fall 2004: Began migration Nov 21 along with 213 & 218. They had remained in a flooded area in Franklin County, TN at least through Jan. 13, and next seen in Franklin County, TN in early March 2005.
    Spring 2005:
    Began migration with #213 and #218 from their wintering area in Franklin County, TN on March 21. Confirmed back at Necedah NWR in WI by March 29. On April 4, #209 had parted from #213 and #218. She stayed around, especially in the area of Mill Bluff, WI. She associated with other whooping cranes there.
    Fall 2005: Began migration with #302 on Nov. 17. Eventually joined #101, #202, and #208 to roost that night in Will County, IL. On Nov. 18 they moved to Lake County, Indiana. On Nov. 24, cranes #209 and #302 foraged in local wetlands and stayed around for the rest of the week. Arrived in Wisconsin March 18. This pair (209 and 302) is a possible new breeding pair! They were observed building a nest on 27 March, but they discontinued use of that site. They chased #417 from a cornfield near their territory on April 7. On April 13, they began incubating eggs in a new nest on their territory in Monroe County, Wisconsin. They did better than of any of the 5 nesting pairs, guarding their eggs and staying on the nest. But their clutch was lost after 15 days, before the eggs could hatch.
Banding:
G/W | R/W
211
  • Male
  • Hatched May 13th
  • Personality Characteristics: Weight at pre-migratory health check: 6.4 kg. Friendly with the costume but very dominant with the other birds. Kind of a bully. Gets excited about things. The caretakers call him a wacky whooper because he will fight with gates, plants and rocks. Mark thinks he hallucinates and acts as if he is killing snakes by stomping them.
  • History: Spring 2003: Left Chassahowitzka NWR on first journey north April 1, 2003 with 14 other whoopers and returned successfully to Wisconsin April 13. Spent the summer about 15 miles from Necedah NWR with flock mates 17, 2, 12, 13 and 16. Formed a pair bond with #12 and they were often seen back at Necedah NWR in late summer.
    Fall 2003: Began migration on Nov. 13 with six flock mates and #2 from the 2001 flock. 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.
    Spring 2004:
    On March 18, 2004, #9 departed from the Pasco County winter location with Cranes 211 and 212 and spent that night in southern Georgia. They roosted in McHenry County, IL on March 25 and 26. They were next seen at Necedah National Wildlife Refuge--HOME!--most likely returning on March 27, 2004.
    Fall 2004: Along with #212 and 217, remained at or near the Necedah NWR until Dec. 11. Arrived at the Florida pen site at 12:45 EST December 15---flying the whole route in just 4 1/2 days! They roosted that night in the pool within the pen, near the top-netted enclosure containing the 13 newly-arrived 2004 chicks. On December 16th they stayed at the pen all day and night. On December 17 cranes 105 & 204 also returned to the pen. The trio of 211, 212 & 217 spent time at or near the pen but moved on Dec. 26th to the Pasco County site, which was used by 211 and 212 during winter 2003-04. Cranes #211, 212 and 217 sometimes returned to the pen site and were hostile to #214 when she also returned. They drove her away.
    Spring 2005:
    Cranes 205, 211, 212 & 217 departed Pasco County, FL between March 10 - 12. Reported on March 13 in Blount County Tennessee. Confirmed back at Necedah NWR in WI by March 29. Great news! Cranes #211 and #217 have been seen nest building on a territory near where they were trained to follow the ultralight. On the evening of 17 April, 211 (male) roosted alone on the west side of the dike on their pond at Necedah, while #217 (female) stayed on the nest in the pond on the east side of the dike. This behavior could indicate that laying of an egg is imminent. Sure enough! They laid an egg in their nest, probably April 19. Unfortunately, the pair left the nest site and moved off the refuge by late afternoon, leaving the nest unattended during the night. The next morning the egg was gone, apparently taken by a raccoon or other predator. The pair (#211 and 217) remained together on or near their territory at Necedah NWR all summer. In the fall they foraged in a field along with the DAR chicks with only minor aggression. If other adults appeared around the DAR chicks' home at Site 3, the pair usually drove them off the site.
    Fall 2005: Began migration from Necedah shortly after sunrise on Nov. 24 with #217. They were not tracked. The pair reached their former pen site in Florida on December 1. They moved to a ranch in nearby Pasco County and sometimes associated with #205 and #313, as well as with small groups of sandhills.
    Spring 2006: Crane #211 (together with #217) began migration from a cattle ranch in Pasco County, Florida on February 28. They apparently arrived on their territory at Necedah NWR in Wisconsin on March 28. They built a nest and were confirmed incubating on April 11! But on April 20 both adults in the pair were seen foraging together, an indication that their nest had failed. The nest site was examined on the morning of 21 April. No egg remains were found in or near the nest. A crane egg shell, believed to be from this whooping crane nest, was found on the dike about 300 m from the nest, probably carried there by an avian predator.
    211 and 217 hatch the flock's FIRST FAMILY! After their first nest of the season failed, this pair nested again. They began incubating on May 23 at the original nest site they used last year. This time they stayed with their eggs. On June 22, 2006, experts watching through binoculars saw that the adult cranes' behavior had changed. The eggs had hatched! Twin chicks were confirmed on June 23. What a celebration! The new Eastern flock has its first family!

Banding:
R/W | R/G

Mate:
217

212
  • Male
  • Hatched May 15th
  • Personality Characteristics: Weight at pre-migratory health check: 5.8 kg. At first would venture into the marsh but is now a good follower. Like Cranes #10 and #11, this crane is always ready to fight anything in his way.
  • History: Spring 2003: Left Chassahowitzka NWR on first journey north April 1, 2003 with 14 other whoopers and returned successfully to Wisconsin April 13. Spent the summer about 15 miles from Necedah NWR with flock mates 217, 202, 211, 213 and 216. Formed a pair bond with #211 and they were often seen back at Necedah NWR in late summer.
    Fall 2003:
    Began migration on Nov. 13 with six flock mates and #201 from the 2001 flock. 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.
    Spring 2004:
    On March 18, 2004, #9 departed from the Pasco County winter location with Cranes 211 and 212 and spent that night in southern Georgia. They roosted in McHenry County, IL on March 25 and 26. They were next seen at Necedah National Wildlife Refuge--HOME!--most likely returning on March 27, 2004.
    Fall 2004: Remained at or near the Necedah NWR (along with #211 and 217) until Dec. 11. Arrived at the Florida pen site December 15---flying the whole route in just 4 1/2 days! They roosted that night in the pool within the pen, near the top-netted enclosure containing the 13 newly-arrived 2004 chicks. On December 16th they stayed at the pen all day and night. On December 17 these 3 moved to the salt marsh 1 mile west of the enclosure but visited the pen often. The trio of 211, 212 & 217 moved on Dec. 26th to the Pasco County site, which was used by 211 and 212 during winter 2003-04. Cranes #211, 212 and 217 sometimes returned to the pen site and were hostile to #214 when she also returned. They drove her away, and #212 chased her to her final location.
    Spring 2005:
    Cranes 205, 211, 212 & 217 departed Pasco County, FL between March 10 - 12. Reported on March 13 in Blount County Tennessee. Confirmed back at Necedah NWR in WI by March 29. Remained in the area all summer.
    Fall 2005: Began migration November 17 with #102. 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. 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 #212 (together with #208 and #102) began migration from a cattle ranch in Pasco County, Florida on February 28. They were reported in Greene
    County, Indiana, from March 7-12. They arrived at their Wisconsin summer home March 18 or 19. These two were thought a possible new breeding pair--but then #102 left #212 on March 25 and was not located during the week. He then intruded on the pair 316 and 312 to drive them apart in an attempt to pair with 312. Cranes 212 and 312 were no longer there on March 30, and not located the rest of the week.
Banding:
R/W | W/R/G
213
  • Male
  • Hatched May 16th
  • Personality Characteristics: Weight at pre-migratory health check: 6.2 kg. "He's the boss--a big, tough bird," say Kelly and Dan. Most dominant on the ground but not in the air. He started out as top bird during the first winter in Florida, but #5 replaced him in the dominance structure.
  • History: Spring 2003: Left Chassahowitzka NWR on first journey north April 1, 2003 with 14 other whoopers and returned successfully to Wisconsin April 13. Spent the summer about 15 miles from Necedah NWR with flock mates 217, 202, 211, 212 and 216.
    Fall 2003:
    Together with #202, started fall migration from Necedah on November 7. Arrived with 202 in Suwanee County, FL on Nov. 21, where the pair stayed.
    Spring 2003:
    Still with #2, began spring journey together on March 20th. PTT readings indicate they spent that night in east-central Georgia. From March 24-29, PTT readings indicated they were in Jackson County, IN. Confirmed April 2 (with #202) in Tipecanoe County, Indiana. Seen April 6 in Dane Cty, WI and back at Necedah on April 7.
    Fall 2004: Began migration Nov 21. The trio of #209, 213 & 218 had remained in a flooded area in Franklin County, TN at least through Jan. 13, and next seen in Franklin County, TN in early March 2005.
    Spring 2005:
    Began migration with #209 and #218 on 21 March. Confirmed back at Necedah NWR in WI by March 29. The pair of #213 and #218 began building a nest near the site 2 training area! However, the nest was never completed and no eggs appeared. This pair moved between the refuge and the Mill Bluff area but stayed on their territory at Necedah NWR most of the time.
    Fall 2005: Began migration Nov. 17 with #218. They landed to roost at 5:24 p.m. in Grundy County, IL. On Nov. 19 they were just north of Terre Haute, IN. They were were detected in flight in Kentucky on Nov. 21. On Nov. 23 they were in Franklin County, TN where they spent the winter of 2004. They landed on their territory at Necedah NWR in Wisconsin on March 19. His transmitter no longer works.
    Spring 2006:
    Last seen March 14 with #218--probably left shortly after on migration. They were observed back on their territorry at Necedah NWR in Wisconsin and building a nest by the end of March. They began incubating by April 6! They did a good job tending the nest until April 24, when they left the nest for several hours. Experts rescued the eggs and replaced them with a dummy egg.

Banding:
R/W | G/R/G

Mate:
218

214
  • Female
  • Hatched May 16th
  • Personality Characteristics: From the captive flock at the International Crane Foundation . Weight at pre-migratory health check: 5.2 kg. She is a fairly quiet female. She is sometimes shy, but is eager to work with the trikes and costumes. On the migration, she dropped out during the first flight and returned to her pen at Necedah. Also dropped out on the 4th leg of the migration. First of this group to acquire her adult voice.
  • History: Spring 2003: Left Chassahowitzka NWR on first journey north April 1 with all the rest, but hesitated and turned back alone. Left again on April 2 and chose her own route north. Located by aerial search on May 13 on a remote pond in north central Illinois where she stayed there all summer. She is the only whooper from the 2002 chicks who did not return to Wisconsin in spring 2003.
    Fall 2003:
    As of Nov. 21, when flock mates were in Florida, she was still in Illinois with sandhill cranes. The last to migrate south in 2003, she began her migration Nov. 28 and arrived at Chassahowitzka December 2. This lone crane then moved to Madison County. During the winter (on February 7, 2004) she showed up at the pen site, joining all the new 2003 chicks as well as 3 older "ultra-cranes:" #105 from 2001 and #202 and #218 from her own 2002 flock. The older birds tried to chase her away, but eventually stopped.
    Spring 2004:
    She stayed back with the chicks when the older trio (#105, #204, #218) left on migration March 27. When the other chicks left on April 7, she remained at the pen site, now by herself (and probably glad!). The first visual of the bird, flying alone, was obtained near Amboy, Illinois, at 1:14pm on April 17. Crane #214 landed at 4:45pm in Lafayette County, Wisconsin -- her first time back on Wisconsin soil since the fall of 2002 after choosing northern Illinois as her summer home in 2003. Seen in summer 2004 in Monroe County, WI.
    Fall 2004: #214 was spotted migrating with four sandhill cranes northwest of Lafayette, IN. on November 7, 2004. She was the first ultra-crane to arrive in fall 2004 at Chassahowitzka, first seen there on Nov. 16. She joined wintering sandhill cranes on a cattle ranch in Sumter County, Florida. She returned to the Chassahowitzka pen site on January 29, 2005. Cranes 211, 212 and 217 were also there. They were intolerant of 214. On Feb. 1, #212 was seen chasing #214 in an aerial dogfight. The remains of #214 were discovered Feb. 6 about 1 mile southeast of the Chassahowitzka pen. She likely died Feb. 1 or 2, 2005, the apparent victim of a bobcat.
Banding:
R/W | G/W/R
215
  • Female
  • Hatched May 17th
  • Personality Characteristics:Weight at pre-migratory health check: 5.8 kg. This bird is from the captive flock at ICF. During the first winter in Florida, Sara said she was a rather submissive, low-ranking bird who rarely bothered anyone, yet she was bullied by Yearling Crane #5.
    History: Spring 2003: Successfully migrated north in spring 2003, leaving Florida in the group of 15 (includes one 2001 bird) and arriving Wisconsin April 13. Wandered in her first summer. She and other females #203 and #207 stayed in South Dakota--too close to the Aransas/Wood Buffalo Whooping cranes and outside the NEP area--and were captured and returned to Necedah August 17-18. She stayed around the Refuge until she reunited with #203 on August 29, and both flew to northeastern Iowa.
    Spring 2004:
    She and #203 began migration from Iowa on November 8, and completed their return to Citrus County, Florida 7 days later, the first to arrive. After staying at the pen site, they later moved a short distance inland and were seen Nov. 21 in a marsh in Hillsborough County, FL. Then the two moved to Sumter County. Left on spring migration after April 11, 2004. Left on spring migration after April 11, 2004. Finally, 203 & 215 were reported in Meeker Co., Minnesota, between April 17-18. These are two of the three females that wandered west into South Dakota in spring 2003. Reported back at Necedah April 19!
    Fall 2004: Cranes 203, 215 and 216 began migration from Monroe County, Wisconsin, on November 21st. They left Greene County, IN on December 14th. They roosted that night along the Cumberland River in Davidson County, Tennessee. On Dec. 15 the trio flew to Limestone County, Alabama, remaining there in harvested cornfields and floodings until Dec. 23rd. On that morning #215 separated from the other two birds. She couldn't be located due to weak and infrequent radio signals. On January 3, 2005, her dead body was recovered in Limestone County, Alabama by WCEP trackers. Her death is under investigation, with no certain answers.
Banding:
R/W | W/G/R
216
  • Male
  • Hatched May 17th
  • Personality Characteristics: Weight at pre-migratory health check: 6.0 kg. Always the runt as a chick, but has grown to become one of the largest males. Good flyer. Third most-dominant male. As a chick he wanted to fight anything that moved, but now he's a good, normal bird. One of the pilots' favorite flyers. during the first winter in Florida, Sara said, "He's a large male and is somewhere in the middle of the hierarchy, but is rather mellow and doesn't’t seek out challenges or fights."
  • History: Spring 2003: Left Chassahowitzka NWR on first journey north April 1, 2003 with 14 other whoopers and returned successfully to Wisconsin April 13. Spent the summer about 15 miles from Necedah NWR with flock mates 217, 202, 211, 212 and 213.
    Fall 2003:
    Began migration on Nov. 13 with six flock mates and #102 from the 2001 flock. 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. Five of them, including #216, split from the group and moved to the same area of Pasco Cty. that #101 and #102 (2001 birds) occupied in winter 2002.
    Spring 2004:
    Left on spring migration around March 13, 2004 together with 101, 102, 205, 208, 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. The group arrived back at Necedah NWR on April 1, 2004.
    Fall 2004: Cranes 203, 215 and 216 began migration from Monroe County, Wisconsin, on November 21st. They left Greene County, IN on December 14th. They roosted that night along the Cumberland River in Davidson County, Tennessee. On Dec. 15 the trio flew to Limestone County, Alabama, remaining in harvested cornfields and floodings there until Dec. 23rd, when #215 separated from the other two birds. Cranes 203 and 216 arrived at the winter pen site on the afternoon of Dec. 28. Moved to a ranch in Lake County, FL for most of the winter.
    Spring 2005:
    Began migration with #203 during March 22-24. In summer and fall, he spent time with #303 on Necedah NWR.
    Fall 2005: Began migration Nov. 17 with #303. They were tracked into northern IL, but their roost site was not determined. So far, no additional sites determined. No further locations determined until they arrived at their old Florida pen site at Chassahowitzka NWR on December 14 at 2:25 PM. They moved later to a ranch in nearby Pasco County, FL.
    Spring 2006: #216 left Florida around March 6 with #303. They were reported March 19 in TN. #216 was next reported in central Minnesota on April 7. This male and his mate, #303, were the only one of last year's breeding pairs that had not arrived on their territory in Central Wisconsin by April 7. The location and fate of #303 was not known until, amazingly, she turned up at Necedah NWR on April 12. The pair's separation may have been related to severe storms that occurred during migration. Crane #216 stayed at the Todd County, MN site for the rest of that week. On April 18 at 4:14 PM, he landed within his territory on Necedah NWR! His injury was apparent. By April 20 he had moved to the Mill Bluff State Park area. On April 21 he returned to his territory at Necedah NWR and rejoined #303. The pair stayed together and returned to Mill Bluff on April 22. But he soon lost his territory at Necedah AND his his mate, #303, to young bachelor #408. Male #216 recovered during the summer and currently occupies the area adjacent
    to and east of his former territory.

Banding:
R/W | R/G/R

Mate:
303

217
  • Female
  • Hatched May 18th
  • Personality Characteristics: Weight at pre-migratory health check: 5.0 kg. Usually quiet. She is the other whooper that, according to Dan, doesn't like smelt for a treat.
  • History: Spring 2003: Left Chassahowitzka NWR on first journey north April 1, 2003 with 14 other whoopers and returned successfully to Wisconsin April 13. Spent the summer about 15 miles from Necedah NWR with flock mates 202, 211, 212, 213 and 216.
    Fall 2003:
    Began migration on Nov. 13 with six flock mates and #2 from the 2001 flock. 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. Five of them, including #217, split from the group and moved to the same area of Pasco Cty. that #101 and #102 (2001 birds) occupied in winter 2002.
    Spring 2004:
    Left on spring migration around March 13, 2004 together with 101, 102, 205, 208, and 216. 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 back at Necedah NWR on April 1, 2004, but PTT data showed he left the group and the refuge on April 6th to roost in Waushara County, WI.
    Fall 2004: Remained at or near the Necedah NWR (along with #211 and 212) until Dec. 11. Arrived at the Florida pen site December 15---flying the whole route in just 4-1/2 days! They roosted that night in the pool within the pen, near the top-netted enclosure containing the 13 newly-arrived 2004 chicks. On December 16th they stayed at the pen all day and night. On December 17 these 3 moved to the salt marsh 1 mile west of the enclosure but visited the pen often. The trio of 211, 212 & 217 moved on Dec. 26th to the Pasco County site, which was used by 211 and 212 during winter 2003-04. Cranes #211, 212 and 217 sometimes returned to the pen site. They were hostile to #214 when she also returned in February. They drove her away.
    Spring 2005:
    Cranes 205, 211, 212 & 217 departed Pasco County, FL between March 10 - 12. Reported on March 13 in Blount County Tennessee. Confirmed back at Necedah NWR in WI by March 29. On the evening of 17 April, #211 (male) roosted alone on the west side of the dike on their pond, while #217 (female) stayed on the nest in the pond on the east side of the dike. This behavior could indicate that laying of an egg is imminent. Sure enough! They laid an egg in their nest, probably April 19. Unfortunately, the pair left the nest site and moved off the refuge by late afternoon, leaving the nest unattended during the night. The next morning the egg was gone, apparently taken by a raccoon or other predator. The pair (#211 and 217) remained together on or near their territory at Necedah NWR all summer. In the fall they foraged in a field along with the DAR chicks with only minor aggression. If other adults appeared around the DAR chicks' home at Site 3, the pair usually drove them off the site.
    Fall 2005: Began migration from Necedah shortly after sunrise on Nov. 24 with #211. They were not tracked. The pair reached their former pen site in Florida on December 1. They moved to a ranch in nearby Pasco County and sometimes associated with #205 and #313, as well as with small groups of sandhills.
    Spring 2006: Crane #217 (together with #211) began migration from a cattle ranch in Pasco County, Florida on February 28. They apparently arrived on their territory at Necedah NWR in Wisconsin on March 28. They built a nest and were confirmed incubating on April 11! But on April 20 both adults in the pair were seen foraging together, an indication that their nest had failed. The nest site was examined on the morning of 21 April. No egg remains were found in or near the nest. A crane egg shell, believed to be from this whooping crane nest, was found on the dike about 300 m from the nest, probably carried there by an avian predator.
    Then—surprise! This pair nested again and began incubating on May 23 at the original nest site they used last year.
    211 and 217 hatch the flock's FIRST FAMILY! This time they stayed with their eggs. On June 22, 2006, experts watching through binoculars saw that the adult cranes' behavior had changed. The eggs had hatched! Twin chicks were confirmed on June 23. What a celebration! The new Eastern flock has its first family!

Banding:
R/W | G/R

Mate:
211

218
  • Female
  • Hatched May 21st
  • Personality Characteristics: From the captive flock at the International Crane Foundation Weight at pre-migratory health check: 5.8 kg. One of the two youngest in the flock. She is small and very bonded to the ultralight. Can be quite fiery at times towards handlers and flock mates, but not often. Dan says she's cute and cries a lot and is another favorite because of her small size. She is from the captive flock at ICF.
  • History: Spring 2003: Successfully migrated north in spring 2003, leaving Florida in the group of 15 (includes one 2001 bird) and arriving Wisconsin April 13. Spent the summer about 10-12 miles from the Necedah Refuge with #204 and #209 and returned to the Refuge the last week of October, 2003, as did #4 from her cohort and last year's #5 (105). 
    Fall 2003: Migrating together, 105, 204 and 218 were found by trackers while in flight Nov. 20 over Georgia. They flew after dark, roosting in SW Georgia, and on November 21 the group of three landed at the pen site at Chassohowitzka, migration complete! They later flew to Hernando County, but returned on Jan. 8, 2004 to the the pen site to create trouble. They harassed the young 2003 chicks in the pen and defended and took over a feeding station.
    Spring 2004:
    Left on spring migration March 27, together with #105 and #204.  They landed to roost in Crisp County, GA at 6:15 that evening. Stopped overnight in Indiana April 1. Confirmed back at Necedah with #105 and #204 on April 7, 2004. In May, #218 led some of the 2003 cranes in flight outside the refuge to an area where many of the 2002 cranes "hang out." It's a thrill for WCEP experts to see the older cranes taking the youngsters "under their wings."
    Fall 2004: Began migration Nov 21. The trio of #209, 213 & 218 had remained in a flooded area in Franklin County, TN at least through Jan. 13, and next seen in Franklin County, TN in early March 2005. 
    Spring 2005:
    Began migration with #209 and 213 from their wintering area in Franklin County, TN on March 21.  Confirmed back at Necedah NWR in WI by March 29.   The pair #213 and #218 began building a nest near the site 2 training area! However, the nest was never completed and no eggs appeared. This pair moved between the refuge and the Mill Bluff area but stayed on their territory at Necedah NWR most of the time.
    Fall 2005: Began migration Nov. 17 with #213. They landed to roost at 5:24 p.m. in a State Natural Area in Grundy County, IL.   They were were detected in flight in Kentucky on Nov. 21. On Nov. 19 they were just north of Terre Haute, IN. They were were detected in flight in Kentucky on Nov. 21. On Nov. 23 they were back in Franklin County, TN, where they sepnt the winter of 2004. They landed on their territory at Necedah NWR in Wisconsin on March 19.
    Spring 2006: Last observed with #213 on March 14. They are believed to be migrating. They were next observed on their territorry at Necedah NWR in Wisconsin and building a nest by the end of March. They began incubating by April 6! Like good parents, they dililgently tended the nest--but that changed on April 24.They did a good job tending the nest until April 24, when they left the nest for several hours. Experts rescued the eggs and replaced them with a dummy egg.

Banding:
G | R/W

Mate:
213

 

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