Whooping Crane Eastern Population Update April 2022

Three Whooping Cranes forage in an early spring wetland.
The Whooping Crane trio 4-17, 6-17 and 24-17  in Sauk County, Wisconsin, earlier this spring. Photo by Bridget Lockridge.

Below is the most recent update for the Eastern Migratory Population of Whooping Cranes. In the last month, Whooping Cranes have returned to Wisconsin, and some have started nesting! 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 was produced by the International Crane Foundation.

Population Estimate

The current estimated population size is 77 (37 F, 37 M, 3 U). Seventeen of these 77 individuals are wild-hatched and the rest are captive-reared. To the best of our knowledge, as of 6 April, there are at least 67 Whooping Cranes in Wisconsin, two in Michigan, and one that was last seen in Indiana during March but is likely back in Wisconsin and has not yet been confirmed. The remaining birds’ locations have not been confirmed in the last month. Their last known locations (in the past month) are on the map below.

A map of Whooping Crane locations as of April 6, 2022. Legend: Star symbol 2021 Cohort, Triangle symbol 2022 Cohort, Black dot Adult Whooping Cranes.

Click here to view our interactive “Where are the Whoopers” map for more details, including bios on each of the cranes.


As of 6 April, there are potentially eight nests in Wisconsin. Eggs have not yet been confirmed in all the nests.

Active and potential nests: 5 in Juneau County, 1 in Marquette County, 2 in Green Lake County.

2021 Cohort

W2-21 (U) migrated back to WI with their parents and is now in Green Lake County, where they have been associating with 85-21 (M).

W11-21 (M) is in Juneau County, WI, where he has been associating with other young Whooping Cranes.

W14-21 (M) migrated back to Juneau County, WI, with his parents. He has been associating with other young Whooping Cranes.

84-21 (F) is in Juneau County, WI, where she has been associating with other Whooping Cranes.

85-21 (M) is in Green Lake County, WI, and has been associating with W2-21 (U).

2020 Cohort

W3-20 (F) was reported in Marathon Co, WI, in early April but has not yet been confirmed.

W13-20 (M) was not seen for most of the winter but is now in Dodge County, WI.

W14-20 (M) was confirmed dead in early April (see below).

W18-20 (F) was last seen with 80-19 (F) in Hopkins County, KY, in February.


W14-20 (M) was confirmed dead in early April but likely died during fall 2021. The cause of death is undetermined.

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