the New 2002 Whooping Crane Chicks!
2002 of the Eastern Flock
about the naming system, hatch place
in Maryland, release site in Wisconsin, over-wintering
site in Florida, and leg-band codes.
#208 with PTT on his right leg and
radio transmitter on the left leg (red/white).
Photo Sara Zimorski
Characteristics: Large male, very spunky, with two
little pink bald spots on his head. He was the most dominant bird
in Cohort 1, the first group of chicks to arrive at Necedah for 2002
completed migration with the ultralight Class of 2002. During the
first winter in Florida, aviculturalist
Lara said, "He
wants to be dominant. He acts tough toward the costume, often challenging
we go in the pen,
very often displaced by birds in the flock." Bullied by Yearling
Crane #105 during the winter of 2002-03.
2003: Left Florida in the group of 15 (including
one 2001 bird) and arrived home in Wisconsin April 13. He spent
part of the summer
in the southwest area of Wisconsin along with #205, and apparently
chose to stay there even when #205 returned to the Refuge.
2003: Began migration on Nov. 13 with six flock
mates and #102. This group of eight arrived at
the Florida pen site at Chassahowitzka NWR
on November 21, 2003. During their entire journey south, the group
stayed together and was never seen migrating with sandhill cranes.
group moved to Pasco County shortly after arriving in FL. Five
of them, including #208, split from the group and moved to the same
area of Pasco County that #101 and #102 occupied in
Spring 2004: Left on spring migration around March
13, together with #101, 102, 205, 216, and 217. PTT readings indicated
the group roosted in SW Indiana on March 22, but moved to DeKalb
County, Illinois March 23.
The group arrived back at Necedah NWR on April 1, 2004.
Fall 2004: The pair #102 and #208 began migration
from Necedah NWR on Dec. 1. Checked and confirmed in
Illinois on Dec.
14. Detected in flight just east of Decatur, Alabama on the afternoon
of Dec. 23. They arrived at the Florida winter pen site on the
afternoon of Dec. 30 and later moved on to other territory.
Spring 2005: #208 and #102 departed on migration
from Pasco County, Florida on March 19 and were back at Necedah on
March 31! He often
intruded on the territory of pair #101 and #202 and was chased
off by #101. He was seen several times with #313 during the
the fall, #208 often aggravated and challenged #101 on #101's territory.
Fall 2005: #208 began migration November 17 with
#101 and #202. They roosted on a pond in Will County, Illinois.
The group continued Nov.
and stoped near Indianapolis, Indiana. On Dec. 22, #208 arrived at
the Chassahowitzka NWR pen site in Florida . He left
next day for a
in Pasco County, FL. where several other whoopers and many sandhill
cranes spent the winter.
Spring 2006: Crane #208 (together with #212 and
#102) began migration from Pasco County, Florida on February 28.
with the pair in Greene County, Indiana, March 7-12. He arrived
back at Wisconsin's Necedah NWR March 18 or 19.
Fall 2006: Crane #208 and
his mate (#313) were among the last Whooping Cranes to leave
Wisconsin's Necedah NWR
4 the pair had been at a migration stopover in Indiana. On Dec.
#208 was discovered (still alive but in shock (PHOTOS) under a
power line there. He was retrieved and transported to the Indianapolis
Zoo hospital for intensive care. An injury to his right leg later
became apparent. The facilities were excellent and suitable for
the costume/isolation protocol. He died suddenly
on Dec. 27, 2006 following tube feeding. Project biologist
Dr. Richard Urbanek said, "#208 was a model bird and was expected
to nest this coming spring on his territory on Necedah NWR. " It
is a sad loss.