Wild-hatched Whooping Cranes
Parent-reared Whooping Cranes
Spring 2021: W2-21 hatched to parents 4-12 and 3-14 at White River Marsh. This is the first time this pair has hatched a chick, and this is the first chick to fledge from White River Marsh! W2-21 fledged in mid-July and spent the summer exploring the marsh with their parents. We are very excited to watch this little one grow up!
Fall 2021: The family successfully migrated to Georgia together. They spent a few weeks in Alabama at Wheeler NWR but ultimately decided to head further south in mid-December.
Spring 2022: This spring, W2-21 migrated with their parents through Illinois back to White River Marsh SWA. We still are unsure whether this bird is a male or a female. Since being back, W2-21 has been seen associating with 31-16 and 85-21 in Green Lake County, WI.
Spring 2021: W10-21 hatched to parents 12-03 and 12-05 at Necedah National Wildlife Refuge. This pair has fledged chicks the past two years (W14-19 and W14-20), so we were excited to see them do well a third year in a row! W10-21 fledged in early August and so far has eluded capture crews. They spent the summer exploring a remote part of the refuge with their parents, and we look forward to seeing them on the wintering grounds in Indiana.
Fall 2021: This fall and summer 12-03, 12-05, and chick W10-21 were hiding out deep in the marshes of Necedah NWR. The family was last spotted in WI on August 19th. Despite numerous efforts to locate the family, they weren’t seen again until they migrated to Knox County, IN in early November. Unfortunately, the pair arrived on their wintering grounds without W10-21.
Hatch Date: May 23, 2021
Spring 2021: W11-21 hatched to parents 18-03 and 36-09 at Necedah National Wildlife Refuge. This pair is always very protective of their eggs and chicks, so we had our fingers crossed for them this year. This family group has been spending the summer in the marsh, getting ready for their migration this fall.
Fall 2021: This year 18-03 and 36-09 successfully fledged chick W11-21! W11-21 was captured and banded in early August. The family departed Necedah NWR in mid-November, and after a brief detour to western Ohio, they ended up in their usual wintering grounds at Goose Pond FWA, IN.
Spring 2022: This spring, W11-21 migrated up through Illinois to Necedah with his parents. At the end of March, he was seen once with W14-21. However, since this time, he has only been seen by himself in Necedah NWR. We hope he will find a buddy soon!
Spring 2021: W14-21 hatched to parents 2-04 and 25-09 at Necedah National Wildlife Refuge. This pair laid two eggs, but the second egg was collected and transferred to the Audubon Species Survival Center in Louisiana. The second egg hatched and will be raised for release into the wild in the fall. W14-21 was the youngest chick of the year, he was banded, and fledged in late August. This family group has spent a lot of time in open water at Necedah, so W14 is a strong swimmer!
Fall 2021: This year 2-04 and 25-09 successfully fledged chick W14–21! W14-21 was captured and banded in early August. Together, the family migrated from their territory at Necedah NWR in Wisconsin to Hopkins County, Kentucky. They left on the 16th of October and completed their journey in one day!
Fall 2021: 83-21, aka Wampanoag, was released in September at Necedah National Wildlife Refuge near an adult pair of Whooping Cranes, W1-06 and W5-18. The pair was curious about him at first but did not end up “adopting” him. After his release this fall, 83-21 was not associating with any adult Whooping Cranes in the wild. He was seen with Sandhill Cranes in Necedah NWR but unfortunately wasn’t adopted into a family. He was found dead in Juneau County, Wisconsin, in October. There were not enough remains to submit for necropsy, but he was found in a marsh that had dried up, so we assume he had been predated.
Fall 2021: 84-21, aka Ho-Chunk, was released in September at Necedah National Wildlife Refuge near an adult pair of Whooping Cranes, 9-05 and 13-03. After her release into the wild this fall, 84-21 joined a flock of Sandhill Cranes. We hoped she would migrate with them but, surprisingly, she appeared in Gibson County, Indiana in the company of two adult Whooping Cranes! GPS transmitters show she migrated south with 6-15 and 37-07. 84-21 has been closely associating with 4-5 adult Whooping Cranes who are teaching her about living in the wild!
Fall 2021: 85-21 (aka Yoeme) was released September 29th at White River Marsh near a pair of adult Whooping Cranes, 67-15 and 3-17, in hopes they would “adopt” him and show him the way south. After his release into the wild, 85-21 joined up with a large flock of whooping cranes, including the pair. Adults 67-15 and 3-17 quickly took 85-21 under their wing! The pair spent the early fall showing 85-21 around White River Marsh before deciding to migrate in late November. After brief stops in southern Illinois and Tennessee, the family made it to their wintering grounds in Morgan County, Alabama.
Spring 2022: This spring 85-21 made his way back to Wisconsin with his foster family. Once they arrived back at White River Marsh SWA, 85-21 struck out on his own. He has been associating with wild hatched chick W2-21 and other single Whooping Cranes in the area.