Crane Home Page
Crane-Kids Headed North! April 5, 2015

The five remaining young cranes of the Class of 2014 left St. Marks NWR in Florida on their first journey north on April 3rd, flying more than 200 miles on their first migration day! Best of all, they were with #5-12. This two-year-old male has been allowed to hang out with the youngsters this winter in hopes he would interact with them and become their experienced leader on the way home to Wisconsin. Normally that wouldn't be necessary, but the Class of 2014 didn't get to fly most of the first half of their migration route due to repeated weather stalls. Project leader Joe Duff sums it up: "With conditions predicted to get worse, we transported the birds to the halfway point in Tennessee, creating an unprecedented gap in their knowledge of the migration route. Ever since, we have been wondering what will happen this spring—and we are about to find out." Winter supervisors Brooke and Colleen are now their trackers and aim to follow the birds north. Will the youngsters stick with #5-12? Everyone hopes so! Watch their bio pages until our next update.

Juvenile Whooping Crane in flight

juvenile Whooping Crane in flight

Laura Erickson