Below is the most recent update for the Eastern Migratory Population of Whooping Cranes. In the last month, chicks have started to hatch! A huge thank-you to the staff of the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Departments of Natural Resources of flyway states, the International Crane Foundation, and all 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. This report is produced by the International Crane Foundation for the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership.
The current estimated population size is 87 (39 F, 46 M, 2 U). This does not yet include wild-hatched chicks from 2019. To the best of our knowledge, as of 1 June, at least 76 Whooping Cranes are back in Wisconsin, 4 are in Michigan and 1 is in Illinois. The remaining birds’ locations have not been confirmed in the last month. See map below.
Click here to view our interactive “Where are the Whoopers” map for more details.
As of 1 June, we have had at least 25 first nests and at least 9 re-nests. Currently, we have 7 active re-nests. We have had 11 wild-hatched chicks from 7 first nests, 7 of which are still alive. Below, wild-hatched chicks in bold are currently alive.
Juneau Co: 12-03/12-05, 25-09/2-04, 36-09/18-03, 24-08/13-02, 16-07/7-07, 9-03/3-04
Adams Co: 3-11/7-11
Completed nests that didn’t hatch (since the last update):
Juneau Co: 12-09/69-16, 13-03/9-05 re-nest, W1-06/1-10 re-nest
Green Lake Co: 10-15/4-13 (sat full term), W3-17/30-16 (sat full term), 7-17/4-14
2019 Wild-hatched chicks:
W1-19 hatched 3 May to parents 12-11/5-11 in Juneau Co and is still alive
W2-19 hatched 7 May to parents 24-09/42-09 in Adams Co and is still alive, as far as we know
W3-19 and W4-19 hatched around 10 May to parents 27-14/10-11 in Marquette Co and are no longer alive
W5-19 hatched 14 May to parents W3-10/8-04 in Juneau Co and is still alive
W6-19 hatched 14 May to parents W3-10/8-04 in Juneau Co and is no longer alive
W7-19 hatched 20 May to parents 15-11/29-08 in Juneau Co and is still alive
W8-19 hatched 20 May to parents 15-11/29-08 in Juneau Co and is no longer alive
W9-19 hatched 25 May to parents W18-15/19-10 in Juneau Co and is still alive
W10-19 and W11-19 were first detected on 31 May with parents 5-10/28-08 in Marathon Co and are still alive
W1_18 (F) is still in Marathon Co.
W3_18 (F) is now with 16_04 (M) at Necedah National Wildlife Refuge in Juneau Co, WI.
W5_18 (M) was still in Juneau Co during April.
W6_18 (M) was in Juneau Co, WI.
W10_18 (U) was last seen in Juneau Co, WI in early May.
73_18 (F) and 74_18 (M) are still together in Dodge Co, WI.
77_18 (M) is still in Livingston Co, Michigan.
W3_17 (F) is still with 30_16 (M) in Green Lake Co, WI, but do not have a chick. The pair sat full term but we never saw a chick, so we’re not sure if their eggs hatched.
W7_17 (F) was last seen in early May in Burnett Co, WI.
19_17 (M) was with 2_15 (F) and 28_05 (F) in Marathon Co, WI, but died due to powerline collision during May (see below).
28_17 (M) has not been seen since March in Dodge Co, WI.
24_17 (M) is now in Sauk Co, WI with 4_17 and 6_17.
72_17 (M) has been moving around Michigan this spring and is in Saginaw Co.
38_17 (F) is still with 63-15 (M) in Dodge Co.
39_17 (F) was in Ontario, Canada, but died during May (see below).
7_17 (F) is still with 4_14 (M) in Green Lake Co, WI. The pair nested but did not hatch any chicks.
4_17 (M) and 6_17 (F) are now in Sauk Co, WI, with 24_17 (M).
1_17 (M) is bouncing between Juneau and Jackson Co, WI
2_17 (F) is still in Juneau Co, WI with an unbanded crane we presume is W10_15 (U).
3_17 (M) is still with 67_15 (F) in Green Lake Co and the pair had their first nest this spring, but did not hatch any chicks.
8_17 (F) was last seen in early March in Jackson Co, IN.
Mortality or Long-term missing
19_17 (M) died of powerline collision on 9 May in Marathon Co, WI.
8_04 (M) died during the last week of May in Juneau Co, WI, and necropsy results are pending as to cause of death.
29_16 (M) died of unknown causes sometime during 2018, but his transmitter and remains were collected 25 May in Juneau Co.
33_17 (F) hasn’t been seen since October 2017, is considered long-term missing, and has been removed from our population totals above.
29_09 (M), 34_09 (F), and 38_09 (M) haven’t been seen since December 2017, are considered long-term missing, and have been removed from our population totals above.
65_15 (F), 38_08 (F), and 19_14 (F) haven’t been seen since March 2018, are considered long-term missing, and have been removed from our population totals above.
10_09 (M) and 32_09 (F) haven’t been seen since May 2018, are considered long-term missing, and have been removed from our population totals above.
Story submitted by Hillary Thompson, North America Program Crane Analyst. Click here to learn more about our work in North America.