Meet the New 2002 Whooping Crane Chicks!
Hatch-year 2002 of the Eastern Flock

Crane # 213 (13-02)

Date Hatched

May 16 , 2002



Pre-migratory Weight: 6.2 kg



  • Read about the naming system, hatch place in Maryland, release site in Wisconsin, over-wintering site in Florida, and leg-band codes.


Personality and History

Personality Characteristics: "He's the boss—a big, tough bird," say Kelly and Dan. Most dominant on the ground but not in the air. He started out as top bird during the first winter in Florida, but #205 replaced him in the dominance structure.


Fall 2002: Successfully finished her first journey south behind ultralight plane.

Spring 2003: Left Florida on first journey north April 1, 2003 with 14 other whoopers. Returned successfully to Wisconsin April 13. Spent the summer about 15 miles from Necedah NWR with flock mates 217, 202, 211, 212 and 216.

Fall 2003: Together with #202, started fall migration from Wisconsin on November 7. Arrived with #202 in Suwanee County, FL on Nov. 21. The two stayed there all winter.

Spring 2003: Male #213, still with #202, began spring migration on March 20. PTT readings indicate they spent that night in Georgia. From March 24-29, PTT readings indicated they were in Jackson County, IN. Confirmed April 2 (with #202) in Tipecanoe County, Indiana. Back "home" at Necedah NWR on April 7.

Fall 2004: Began migration Nov 21. The trio of #213, 218 and 209 had remained in a flooded area in Franklin County, TN through early March 2005.

Spring 2005: Began migration with #209 and #218 on March 21. Confirmed home in Wisconsin at Necedah NWR by March 29. The pair of #213 and #218 began building a nest near the site 2 training area! However, the nest was never completed and no eggs appeared. This pair moved between the refuge and the Mill Bluff area but stayed on their territory at Necedah NWR most of the time.

Fall 2005: Began migration Nov. 17 with #218. They landed to roost at 5:24 p.m. in Grundy County, IL. On Nov. 19 they were just north of Terre Haute, IN. They were were detected in flight in Kentucky on Nov. 21. On Nov. 23 they were in Franklin County, TN where they spent the winter of 2004.

Spring 2006: Observed with #218 on March 14, and they probably began migration soon after. They were observed March 19 on their territory at Necedah NWR in Wisconsin and building a nest by the end of March. They began incubating by April 6! Like good parents, they diligently tended the nest—but that changed on April 24. They left the nest for several hours. Experts rescued the eggs and replaced them with a dummy egg. Photo and story here. The eggs became the Eastern flocks FIRST CHICKS!

Fall 2006: Despite a mass migration of a total of 28 Whooping Cranes from Wisconsin on Nov. 19, #213 and mate 218 reamined behind. But they successfully migrated south and were seen on their usual winter territory in Franklin County, Tennessee in December. They later moved to Wheeler NWR in Alabama.

Spring 2007: Completed migration (with #218) to Necedah NWR on March 23. They built at least three nests at different locations in their territory during but none were successful. An egg from the nest they began incubating April 16 but abandoned April 20 was collected. This egg was incubated in captivity and hatched into chick #717 for the Classs of 2007 ultralight-led chicks!

Fall 2007: Pair #213 and #218 left Wisconsin on November 22. Reported in Gibson County, Indiana, on November 24. Found on a wildlife refuge in Morgan County, Alabama, on November 28 and were still there at the end of December.

Spring 2008: This pair was visually confirmed back at Necedah NWR by March 30, when they were seen challenging mates #309 and #403 for that pair's territory. On April 8 or 9, pair #218 and #213 began incubating on their new nest. On May 6 they abandoned their nest after a surge of warm weather. Their one good egg was saved and brought to ICF and then to Patuxent, where it hatched and became #805 for the Class of 2008 utralight-led chicks. (The pair has not successfully nested, but their egg for Chick #805 is their chick hatched for the ultralight flock.)

Photo ICF Trackers
May 6: Abandoned nest, 1 egg
Photo Richard Urbanek, ICF

Crane #213 got a new radio transmitter in October, before fall migration.

Fall 2008: Began migration from Wisconsin on November 17, along with mate 218 and 12 other Whooping cranes. A week later pair #213 and #218 (along with a third crane, #524) were on their wintering territory in Morgan County, Alabama!

Spring 2009: Pair #213 and #218 (and #524) likely began migration between March 9 and 13. They were reported in Warrick County, Indiana on the morning of March 15. Confirmed at Necedah NWR in Wisconsin on March 19! They were observed nest building N on the evening of April 5. Began incubation April 16. Nest failed April 24.

When the Class of 2009 ultralight chicks had arrived and were training with the ultralight plane, #213 and #218 often came to watch and call and try to get close to the chicks. They seemed captivated by the chicks. The adult pair was NOT afraid of the "costume" that tried to scare them off just in case they might get aggressive with the chicks, or tempt the chicks to pay more attention to them than to the plane or costume.

Fall 2009: Crane #213 and mate #218 wintered at a national wildlife refuge in Morgan County, Alabama.

Spring 2010: Pair 213/218 began migration from Alabama some time after March 6. Two birds believed to be #213 and 218 were seen on/near their Wisconsin territory on March 15, and two days later the signal of #213 was detected. They are among the first arrivals back for the spring nesting season. All fingers are crossed for this pair to nest successfully. They were observed on a nest during an aerial survey on April 5. The nest was abandoned but tracker Eva discovered the pair on a new nest on May 8! The pair was still incubating those eggs on May 28 and everyone hoped for chicks. The pair was still taking turns sitting on their single egg until it was past due to hatch. Experts later found that the egg was infertile or non-viable.

Fall 2010: Crane names hereafter follow the naming conventions of WCEP: Migrating pair #13-02 (#213) and #18-02 (#218) were found in Will County, Illinois, on the afternoon of November 26, where they stayed at least through Dec. 2.

Spring 2011: Left Morgan County, Alabama wintering area after March 7 with mate. They completed migration to Necedah NWR area by March 21. The pair was incubating on their nest by April 12 but the nest failed about Apr. 30 and the pair was observed feeding in an area off the refuge on May 2.

Fall 2011: Crane #13-02 (#213) and mate #18-02 (#218) migrated to Alabama's Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge and spent winter there.

Spring 2012: Crane #13-02 (#213) and mate #18-02 (#218) were detected arriving back at Wisconsin's Necedah NWR on March 11, a perfect migration day. They were found with a nest on April 11! The chick was due to hatch on May 10. The pair were seen May 16 with a chick (#W5-12) on nest. Chick W5-12 survived until July 24, 2012.

Fall 2012: Crane #13-02 and mate #18-02 began migration Oct. 31 and winterred at their usual location on Wheeler NWR in Alabama.

Spring 2013: Crane #13-02 and mate #18-02 were detected arriving back at Wisconsin's Necedah NWR on March 30. They soon had a nest together, but the nest failed and the pair did not re-nest this summethe first two Whooping cranes to arrive back in Wisconsin – Cranes 13-02 and 18-02

Fall 2013: Crane #13-02 and mate #18-02 began migration from Necedah sometime after October 21, 2013 and were reported at the Wheeler NWR in Alabama on 8 November 8.

Spring 2014: The first whoopers to be spotted in Wisconsin this spring were Crane #13-02 and mate #18-02. They were observed March 17 in Rock County, Wisconsin, foraging with a group of sandhills in a muddy field, and confirmed back at Necedah NWR on March 28, although they had likely arrived by the 24th. No chicks for this pair this summer.

Fall 2014: Crane #13-02 and mate #18-02 began migration from Necedah on November 8th and spent winter at Wheeler NWR, Alabama.

Spring 2015: Crane #13-02 (and likely his mate, #18-02, who has a nonfunctional transmitter) were observed back on territory in Wisconsin during DNR pilot Bev Paulan on a March 25 aerial survey flight. The pair was later observed on an active nest, but the nest failed.

Fall 2016: Crane #13-02 and mate #18-02 migrated in November to their usual wintering range at Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge in Morgan County, Alabama.

Spring 2017: Pair #13-02 and #18-02 returned to their Wisconsin territory on Necedah NWR and were nesting by early April.


Last updated: 4/10/17

Back to "Meet the Flock 2002"


Journey North is pleased to feature this educational adventure made possible by the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership (WCEP).