Whooping Crane Eastern Population Update – February 2021

Juvenile W14-20, center, and parents 12-03 and 12-05 forage on their wintering grounds in Knox Co, Indiana.

Below is the most recent update for the Eastern Migratory Population of Whooping Cranes. In the last month, most birds have stayed on their wintering grounds. 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.

Population Estimate

The current estimated population size is 80 (39 F, 38 M, 3 U). Seventeen of these 80 individuals are wild-hatched and the rest are captive-reared. To the best of our knowledge, as of 1 February, there are eight Whooping Cranes in Illinois, 38 in Indiana, 11 in Kentucky, one in Tennessee, 14 in Alabama, two in Georgia and one in Florida. There is also one Whooping Crane from the Louisiana Non-Migratory Population in Alabama, near the Eastern Migratory Population Whooping Cranes. 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, including bios on each of the cranes.

2020 Wild-hatched Cohort

W3-20 (F) and parents 11-15 and 42-09 are still in Hopkins Co, KY associating with 2-04 (M) and 25-09 (F) and 80-19 (F).

W13-20 (M) and parents 38-17 and 63-15 are still in Randolph Co, IL.

W14-20 (M) and parents 12-03 and 12-05 are still in Knox Co, IN.

W18-20 (F) and parents 13-02 and 24-08 are still in Madison Co, AL.

2019 Cohort

W1-19 (F) is still at Goose Pond FWA in Greene Co, IN, and has been associating with a group of other whooping cranes.

W14-19 (F) is still in Greene Co, IN, with mate 1-17 (M) and the large group of whooping cranes at Goose Pond FWA.

W19-19 (U) is still in Greene Co, IN with the large group of whooping cranes.

79-19 (F) is still in Greene Co, IN, with 74-18 (M) and the large group.

80-19 (F) is still in Hopkins Co, KY, associating with W3-20’s family and pair 2-04 (M) and 25-09 (F).

2018 Cohort

W3-18 (F), W1-18 (F), 74-18 (M), and W10-18 (U) are still in Greene Co, IN, in the large group at Goose Pond FWA.

W5-18 (M) and W1-06 (F) are still associating with the large group at Goose Pond FWA in Greene Co, IN.

W6-18 (M) is still in Lawrence Co, IL with the pair 10-11 (M) and 27-14(F).

73-18 (F) and 3-04 (M) are still currently in Wayne Co, IL.

77-18 (M) is still in Polk Co, FL.

Mortality, Long-term missing

None known.

Story submitted by Hillary Thompson, North America Program Crane Analyst. Click here to learn more about our work in North America.