Heading Home!

W18-15 and parents
W18-15 and parents in flight: When do wild-born young cranes leave Mom and Dad?
Leroy Harrison

April 4, 2016

The remaining five juvenile Whooping cranes are headed north!

Cranes 1-15, 6-15, 8-15, 10-15 and 11-15 departed St. Marks NWR at 10:05 a.m. March 30. Their flock mate #2-15 left March 22 with four older whoopers from St. Marks leading the way.

Some of the Class of 2015 are wearing the new CTT tracking devices; see the latest progress map of their migration. By the night of April 3 they'd made it to Henderson County, Kentucky.

What about the wild-born chicks of 2015? W10-15 was photographed alone in Vernon County, Wisconsin on March 26. Meanwhile, W18-15 was still with its parents in Wayne County, Illinois as of March 21.

By the end of March, approximately 43% of the Eastern Migratory population was back in Wisconsin. The flock's current maximum population is 103 Whooping cranes — 48 females, 53 males, and 2 unidentified gender. Biography pages for all are kept up to date as we get the facts. More: