Class of 2008 Migration News
April 10, 2009
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Dear Journey North,

I will start with the good news. A dozen or more cranes arrived in Wisconsin the past week. We have 8 nests! (See chart.) On today's flight we found three more pairs on nests. All of the nests except for one (#212 and 419) are on the refuge. That leaves just four pairs that aren't on nests yet. Pairs 213 & 218 and 311 & 312 both nested last year. Pair #105 & 501 didn't nest last year. In fact, #105 has never nested as far as we know, even though he's often been paired (previously with #204) during breeding season. Pair #310 & W601 built a nest last year, but she was too young to lay eggs.

In other good news, all the 2008 chicks have left Florida. The last three to leave Chass are in Georgia, while three of the other Chass chicks are in Illinois. The chicks who wintered at St. Marks, except for #813 and #826, are together in Illinois. Female #813 is in Iowa. (She apparently split off from the rest of the St. Marks birds somewhere along the way.)

I am sorry to tell you some sad news. Crane #826 was found April 6 with a severely broken leg. He may have collided with a nearby power line. He was taken to the University of Illinois vet school where he was examined and treated. The doctors decided to try surgery, but #826 died before they operated. On April 3, DAR 32-08, who had already completed her first migration to Wisconsin, was found dead. We believe she, too, hit a nearby power line. The flock size now is 84 members, and we hope for chicks to hatch from the nests we are finding now.

Next week there will be more news, and we hope it will all be good news.

Sara Zimorski
International Crane Foundation (ICF)

ICF aviculturalist Sara Zimorski sends this week's news.


Male #216 led the way on fall migration for 4 DAR chicks' first migration, and returned with them this spring.

Photo Eva Syzszkoski