Class of 2019

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


Last seen summer ’22

Wild-hatched Whooping Cranes


Last seen July ’21

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 and one juvenile Whooping Crane fly 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!  

Fall 2021: This fall 79-19 made the journey south with 16-11. Her persistence this summer might have paid off because 16-11’s sandhill crane mate hasn’t been seen with the pair! Together they took a brief trip to the Hoosier National Forest in Indiana but decided to head back north to Jasper County, Indiana. Hopefully, this spring 16-11 and 79-19 will pair up and nest together! 

Spring 2022: 79-19 migrated back to Horicon Marsh with 16-11. Unfortunately, 16-11’s sandhill crane mate was seen associating with 16-11 and 79-19 by mid-March. 79-19 has been seen mostly on her own recently. 

Fall 2022: 79-19 spent most of the fall with other Whooping Cranes, W13-20 and 16-11, as well as 16-11’s Sandhill Crane mate. The three Whooping Cranes were seen together on migration in Jasper County, Indiana, but then the trio split up. 79-19 ended up migrating to Greene County, Indiana, where she is hanging out with other Whooping Cranes. We’re curious to see where she will decide to go next spring! 

Spring 2023: In late March, 79-19 migrated back to Horicon NWR where she was seen with W13-20 and 16-11. W13-20 and 79-19 eventually paired and nested together at Horicon NWR in April and welcomed one chick! Unfortunately, the chick died after a couple of weeks, and more sad news came with the passing of W13-20 a few months later.  After the passing of her mate, 79-19 associated with 16-11 and his Sandhill Crane mate. This summer has not been easy for 79-19, but we wish her the best on her fall migration, and we hope she will find a new mate in time for the next breeding season.

W13-20 and 79-79 arrive on their breeding grounds in Wisconsin.
W13-20 and 79-79 arrive on their breeding grounds in Wisconsin. Paul Hettenhaus

Fall 2023: Before fall migration, 79-19 was spotted near 16-11 at Horicon NWR. In November, 79-19 was located in northwestern Indiana, again near 16-11, but she quickly flew further south and was spotted in Greene County, Indiana, where she spent the rest of her winter. We are curious to see who 79-19 will pair with this spring after losing her mate over the summer, and we wish her “safe travels” on her journey back north!

79-19 and 16-11 in flight together during their winter migration in Indiana. Bob Bergstorm
79-19 and 16-11 in flight together during their winter migration in Indiana. Bob Bergstorm

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. 

Juvenile Whooping Crane
Photo by 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. 

Juvenile Whooping Crane
Photo by John Pohl

Fall 2020: 80-19 went a bit south to Indiana and crossed back over to Illinois during the summer. In 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!  

Fall 2021: 80-19 and companion W18-20 spent most of the fall in La Salle County, Illinois. From there, they stopped in Hopkins County, Kentucky, then migrated down to Wheeler NWR in Morgan County, Alabama. In Alabama, the pair has been seen in the same area as several other whooping cranes.  

Spring 2022: 80-19 has done a lot of moving around this spring! She spent January in Alabama with a group of other whooping cranes. In late February, she was seen in Hopkins County, Kentucky with W18-20, W14-21, 2-04, and 25-09. She seems to have spent April and May alone in Illinois, as we received reports of her in multiple counties over the span of those two months. By early June, she made her way back to Wisconsin and was spotted in Necedah NWR with W14-21, and 84-21. A week into June, she seems to have reconnected with W18-20. We hope she continues associating with other young whooping cranes and finds a permanent place to call home! 

Fall 2022: 80-19 spent the summer at Necedah in a remote part of the refuge, where she wasn’t seen very often. She has not yet turned up on the wintering grounds, but we hope she will soon!  

Spring 2023: 80-19 was not seen on her wintering grounds and has yet to be seen this spring. We hope she is okay and that she will show up soon!


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.  

A Whooping Crane chick walks through a corn field
Photo by Hillary Thompson
Camera trap photo of two adult Whooping Cranes and their chick
Parents 5-11 and 12-11 with chick W1-19. Photo courtesy 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. 

Photo taken through a scope of an adult and juvenile Whooping Crane
W1-19 and 12-11. Photo by 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!  

Fall 2021: W1-19 and 1-17 were last seen in Portage County, Wisconsin, on the 25th of October. They were next seen in Greene County, Indiana, in late November. Recently they’ve been associating with a large group of whooping cranes in the area.  

Spring 2022: This spring W1-19 migrated up sometime in late March. She and 1-17 are still a pair and nested in Portage County, Wisconsin. These two have been wonderful parents and hatched W4-22 in mid-May! We are hopeful that W4-22 will survive until fledging! 

Fall 2022: W1-19 spent the rest of the summer on her territory with mate 1-17 and their fledged chick W4-22. In fall, they migrated to Greene County, Indiana, where they have been associating with a large group of Whooping Cranes. We’re glad to see W4-22 doing well with their wild-hatched mama, W1-19!  

Spring 2023: W1-19 and 1-17 returned in March to their territory in Portage County, Wisconsin, where they built a nest and hatched a chick. Unfortunately, the chick did not survive to fledging, but this pair is still going strong, and we wish them the best of luck on their fall migration.

1-17 and W1-19 are spotted with their chick.
1-17 and W1-19 are spotted with their chick. Beverly Paulan

Fall 2023: W1-19 stayed with mate 1-17 in Portage County, Wisconsin for the rest of the summer. At the end of October, the pair left Wisconsin and arrived at their normal wintering grounds at Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area in Indiana a week later. They can often be found in a group with the other Whooping Cranes also spending their winters at Goose Pond.


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.  

Fall 2021: This fall W14-19 has been hanging out with young female W3-20. Together the two have jumped around Indiana and Illinois. They are currently part of a large flock of whooping cranes in Greene County, Indiana. 

Spring 2022: After migrating back to Wisconsin from Indiana, W14-19 has been living in Necedah NWR. Here it seems, she has spent her time alone. In late May, she was spotted in Jackson County. Hopefully, she will begin associating with other young whooping cranes. 

Fall 2022: This summer, W14-19 began hanging out at Necedah NWR with male 2-04 who just lost his previous mate. We hope they will become a pair and nest next spring! They migrated mid-October to 2-04’s normal wintering grounds in Hopkins County, Kentucky. 

Spring 2023: 2-04 and W14-19 started their migration north in March and were spotted together at Necedah National Wildlife Refuge in early April. At the start of May, the pair were incubating two eggs, but unfortunately, neither of the eggs hatched. The pair was then observed nest building again in late May, but never ended up laying a second clutch of eggs. Since then, both birds have been residing at Necedah in their territory.

W12-19 and 2-04 at Necedah.
W14-19 and 2-04 at Necedah National Wildlife Refuge. Karen Green.

Fall 2023: W14-19 and 2-04 adopted the two chicks raised at Calgary Zoo, Reed (21-23) and Harp (22-23). The family stayed together, and in late November 2-04, W14-19, 21-23 and 22-23 left Necedah NWR and headed to Hopkins County, Kentucky to spend their winter season. They arrived in mid-December, and we look forward to the family’s arrival in the spring!


Sex: Female
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 bandless. Family 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. 

Aerial view of two Whooping Cranes and their chick in a marsh
Photo by Bev Paulan

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!

Camera trap photo of two Whooping Cranes and their chick on a nest
Photo courtesy USFWS

Fall 2020: Once again, W19-19 was too sneaky to capture and band. After 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.  

Fall 2021: W19-19 was last seen at Necedah NWR in early July. We have our fingers crossed W19-19 will show up on the wintering grounds.

Spring 2022: Unfortunately, W19-19 hasn’t shown up on the wintering grounds or back in Wisconsin and now is presumed to be dead.