Eastern Flock Whooping Crane Pairs Nesting Summary
Spring 2010

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2010 Summary: 10 unsuccessful and 2 successful first-nest attempts of the year; 2 unsuccessful and 2 successful second nests; 1 successful third nest. Seven chicks hatched to five sets of parents (two pairs had two chicks). One of the chicks that hatched was from a captive-produced egg. Two chicks, #W1-10 and #W3-10 (from the captive-produced egg), survived to fledging. This is only the second time in over a century that naturally produced Whooping cranes have fledged in the wild in the Midwest/Eastern North America! The summer also saw the first chick hatched by a DAR bird, even though the chick did not survive to fledge.
#412 and 27-05 (DAR) Between May 10-15 ONE CHICK (W6-10) hatched June 11. During a monitoring flight, Operation Migration pilot Chris Gullikson saw that one of the pair's two fertile eggs had fallen into the water. The nesting adults had done their best to push the egg back into the nest, but it was the tracking team that accomplished it. However, it was too late; the next day, only one chick would hatch—to become the first chick hatched by a DAR bird! Chick W6-10 had disappeared by early July.
#311 and 312 May 9-12 ONE CHICK (W7-10) hatched June 11. Second egg did not hatch. Chick W7-10 had disappeared by early July.
46-07 (DAR) and 402 April 29 or 30 One egg incubated past full-term was found to be infertile when collected June 7.
#505 and 415 Unknown (found Apr. 1) Failed (2 fertile eggs collected Apr. 6. One egg later hatched at Patuxent WRC in Maryland (#3-10) and is in the ultralight Class of 2010.
#310 and W601 April 3 Failed (1 egg collected Apr. 9 and taken to ICF)
April 2 Nest failed.
#303 and #317


Second re-nest May 11-12

TWO CHICKS HATCHED (W4-10 and W5-10)!The first two nests failed, but two eggs were rescued and hatched at ICF and the chicks were transferred to Patuxent WRC in Maryland. This pair nested a third time with success! Two chicks were visually confirmed by June 13 but chick W5-10 disappeared late in June. Chick W5-10 died July 14 of unknown causes.

Re-nested May 2-3

Abandoned May 4; one egg collected

First nest (dates?) Abandoned

#313 and #318

April 5 Failed Apr. 11 or 12
#212 and 419

Unknown (found Apr. 5)

Failed Apr. 14; nest was in Wood County, WI, off the government-owned Necedah NWR property. Two infertile eggs.
Re-nested May 9-11

ONE CHICK hatched June 7 (W3-10)! The pair's two infertile eggs were swapped with one captive-produced egg from Patuxent WRC on June 6. With the trade complete, chick W3-10 hatched the next day. She survived to fledge as of Aug. 31.

#309 and 403

Between April 2-5

Failed Apr. 11

Re-nest begun April 29-30 TWO CHICKS hatched May 30 and 31 (W1-10 and W2-10); W2-10 disappeared June 6-7. W1-10 did well with the two dutiful parents on the refuge. The family began migration together Nov. 4.
#213 and 218 Re-nest begun May 6-8
The single non-viable egg was incubated past full-term and was collected June 14.
Between April 2-5 Failed Apr. 12 ( no eggs)
#401 and 508 April 4 Failed Apr. 7 (1 egg collectedand taken to ICF)
#408 and 519 April 4 Failed (2 eggs collected Apr. 9 and taken to ICF)


Photo: Matt Strausser, ICF

Journal Questions

  • If it takes 30 days to incubate the eggs, at what date would be the hatch date for the first egg from a nest begun May 12? (The second egg usually hatches a day or two later.)
  • Why is building Whooping crane numbers such a slow process?