Class of 2019 - International Crane Foundation

International Crane Foundation


Class of 2019

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Two of this year’s chicks were captive-hatched and raised by adult cranes with little human contact at the International Crane Foundation in Wisconsin. 2019 also had 19 chicks hatch with three fledge!

Parent-reared Whooping Cranes

Wild-hatched Whooping Cranes

79-19 (Balerion)
Sex: Female
Hatch Date: June 1, 2019

Fall 2019: 79-19 was released in Green Lake County, Wisconsin, near adults 67-15 and 3-17 to help her learn how to be a Whooping Crane. She continued associating with them and by mid-November, she arrived in Morgan County, Alabama. She remained at this location for the winter.

Two adult cranes and one juvenile whooping crane flying over a marsh

79-19 flying with allo-parents 67-15 and 3-17 near the release site. Photo by Doug Pellerin


One juvenile and one adult whooping crane foraging in the snow

79-19 foraging with adult female 67-15 prior to migration. Photo by Doug Pellerin


Spring 2020: 79-19 started migrating north in February. She spent some time in Fayette County, Illinois. By mid-April, she arrived at Horicon Marsh in Dodge County, Wisconsin. She has been associating with male 74-18 and his father 16-11. 

Fall 2020: 74-18 and 79-19 left 16-11 and showed up at Goose Pond FWA, Indiana, at the beginning of November. She was seen there in large groups of young Whooping Cranes and breeding pairs.

Spring 2021: 79-19 migrated along with 16-11 and 74-18 up to Horicon National Wildlife Refuge in Wisconsin. All spring and summer she has been associating with 16-11 and his sandhill mate, so hopefully she nests with 16-11 next year!  

80-19 (Arya)
Sex: Female
Hatch Date: June 6, 2019

Summer 2019: 80-19 hatched from an egg salvaged from 7-11/3-11’s nest when 3-11 was found dead at the nest.

Fall 2019: After recovering from a wing injury in captivity, 80-19 was released at Goose Pond FWA, Indiana, at the beginning of November. She remained here for the winter, learning from other Whooping Cranes in the area. 

Photo: Hillary Thompson

Spring 2020: 80-19 began her spring migration in March and arrived at Necedah National Wildlife Refuge at the end of March. It was a short stay as she arrived back in Indiana by mid-April. She was last seen in Illinois as of the end of May. 

Photo: John Pohl

Fall 2020: 80-19 went a bit south to Indiana and crossed back over to Illinois during the summerIn the fall, she was mostly in the LaSalle County, Illinois area by herself. She met up with W3-20 and parents 42-09 and 11-15 there in October. She tagged along with them, ending up in Hopkins County, Kentucky for the winter. Pair 2-04 and 25-09 have also been seen associating with this group. 

Spring 2021: 80-19 started her migration north with a group of other whooping cranes in late March. She ended up at Green River State Wildlife Area in Illinois with W18-20 and the two finally made their way back to Wisconsin mid-Summer!  


Sex: Female
Hatch Date: May 3, 2019

Spring 2019: W1-19 hatched to experienced parents 5-11 and 12-11 in Juneau County, Wisconsin in the beginning of May. At the end of June, staff from the International Crane Foundation captured the chick, gave her leg bands and a radio transmitter for identification, and drew blood for testing, which revealed that she is a girl! She fledged in July.  

Photo: Hillary Thompson
Parents 5-11 and 12-11 with chick W1-19. Photo: Tom Jessen
Fall 2019: W1-19 migrated south with her parents at the beginning of November and within a week arrived in Gibson County, Indiana. She remained there for the winter. 

W1-19 and 12-11. Photo: Hillary Thompson

Spring 2020: W1-19 was not seen for much of the winter. In March, she was spotted in Ford County, Illinois. By the first of July, she was spotted again in Juneau County, Wisconsin, at Necedah National Wildlife Refuge. Since then she has started associating with W10-18. Hopefully, they will become a new pair! 

Fall 2020: W1-19 was found at Goose Pond FWA, Indiana, in late October without W10-18. Since then, she has been associating with large groups of young Whooping Cranes and breeding pairs.

Spring 2021: W1-19 left Goose Pond FWA with several other whooping cranes and headed north through Illinois. She reached Wisconsin and stayed near Necedah for a few weeks and is now associating with 1-17 near Meadow Valley. We hope they nest next year!  


Sex: Female
Hatch Date: June 2019

Summer 2019: W14-19 hatched to pair 12-03 and 12-05 at Necedah NWR in early June. In late July, a team from the International Crane Foundation and Necedah captured the chick, placed bands and a radio transmitter on her leg for tracking, and drew blood as part of a health check. She fledged in late August.

Aerial photo of Whooping Crane family with chick in the marsh

W14-19 with parents 12-03 and 12-05. Photo by Bev Paulan


Fall 2019: W14-19 migrated south with her parents 12-03 and 12-05 to Knox County, Indiana, in mid-November.  They remained here for the winter.

Spring 2020: W14-19 was first observed in mid-April migrating north. She made a stop in Fulton County, Illinois, with male 1-17. The two continued their journey and stopped in Tazewell County, Illinois. Eventually, the two made it to Portage County, Wisconsin, and have remained there.

Fall 2020: 1-17 and W14-19 were seen briefly in mid-November at Wheeler NWR, Alabama. A few days later they surprisingly were seen at Goose Pond FWA, Indiana, where they have been associating with large groups of other young Whooping Cranes and breeding pairs. 

Spring 2021: 1-17 and W14-19 made their way from Greene County Indiana and up through Illinois in Lee and Ogle counties in early March. The pair split up, then W14-19 headed to Isanti County, Minnesota. In early July she headed back to Wisconsin and is now hanging out at Necedah National Wildlife Refuge with W6-18 and W14-20.  


Hatch Date: June 22, 2019

Summer 2019: W19-19 hatched at Necedah NWR to pair 9-05 and 13-03. This was a special hatch, as the chick came from 9-05 and 13-03’s third nest attempt of the season – only the second pair to do this in the EMP! He/she fledged in September.

Fall 2019: After many attempted captures, W19-19 eluded us every time and still roams bandlessFamily 13-03, 9-05 and W19-19 migrated together and were first seen at their wintering location in Goose Pond FWA at the beginning of November. They also made a stop in Winnebago County, Illinois, on the way. 

Photo: Bev Paulan

Photo: USFWS

Spring 2020:  W19-19’s first spring sighting was in May at Necedah NWR and seems to be associating with female W3-18 and occasionally male W5-18. Hopefully, W19-19 will pair up with W3-18 and we will try again this year to capture them!

Fall 2020: Once again, W19-19 was too sneaky to capture and bandAfter spending the summer at Necedah NWR, W19-19 was seen at Goose Pond FWA at the beginning of November. This individual has been seen associating in large groups of young Whooping Cranes and breeding pairs on the wintering grounds.   

Spring 2021: W19-19 is still unbanded and has been spending the summer with W10-18 at Necedah National Wildlife Refuge.