Meet the New 2003 Whooping Crane Chicks!
Hatch-year 2003 of the Eastern Flock

Crane # 302

Date Hatched




Date Arrived in Wisconsin


Permanent Leg Bands
G/W (left)
G/R  (right) 
  • Read about the naming system, birth place in Maryland, release site in Wisconsin, over-wintering site in Florida and leg-band codes.

Personality and History

Migration Training: This large bird will likely be the biggest of the entire flock. He uses his size and is aggressive to the costume. He lost his "bustle" of feathers during shipping from Patuxent, but they will grow back. A good flyer and follower in training.

First Migration South: Turned back and landed at Necedah on day 1 of the migration along with 310, 311 and 313. He was reluctant to follow while 303 was away recovering from surgery, and appeared withdrawn socially. He turned back twice on Day 24 of the migration and was crated for transport. Missed 134.1 miles.

Spring 2004:
Left Chassahowitzka together with the other 7 remaining chicks on April 7 at 9:10 a.m. They flew until rain stopped them, landing in Jefferson Cty., FL at 3:35 where they roosted that night. Took off April 8 in the group of 8 but a thunderstorm separated the cranes into 3 groups. Cranes #302, 307 and 311 — each now traveling solo — were located by radio signals April 9 in Georgia after after gaining about another 100 miles. On April 10, #302 left. Signal next detected April 16, in flight south of Bloomington, Illinois. No signal detected for another 33 days, until May 19, 2004 — 28 miles from Necedah! May 20 he circled over Necedah NWR for an hour before landing for an hour. He flew off to a nearby county and joined #310 and #313 to roost in a cornfield.

Fall 2004: Left Wisconsin October 23 with #317. Separated from #317 Oct. 24. Arrived a few days later in Iroquois County, IL. Stayed there till Dec. 12. (He was alone, and the landowner was convinced that this crane likes the Canada goose decoys that are sharing his wetland!) Next located with #310 and #313 during an aerial survey by Lara Fondow on January 18 in a managed wetland in Colleton County, South Carolina.

Spring 2005:
Began migration March 20 together with #310 and #313. On April 3, #302 was seen flying west of Chicago. On April 4 he arrived at Necedah NWR. He and #313 were together all summer.

Fall 2005:
Began migration with #209 on Nov. 17. He and #209 apparently arrived on Dec. 5 at the same site occupied by #213 and #218 in Franklin County, Tennessee, where they still were present at the end of December.

Spring 2006: Began migration with #209 on Nov. 17. They arrived in Wisconsin March 18. They were observed building a nest on 27 March, but they stopped using that site. On April 13, they began incubating eggs in a new nest on their territory in Monroe County, WI. They did better than of any of the 5 nesting pairs. They guarded their eggs and stayed on the nest. But their clutch was lost after 15 days, before the eggs could hatch. The pair remained in the local area after loss of their nest. Then they moved to another place in Monroe County, where 302 was suspected to be molting.

Death of #302 in July, 2006: The carcass of #302 was discovered on July 16 in an area with dense trees but no standing water. He was likely the victim of a predator. Male #302 was the first member of a breeding pair to die since the reintroduction began in 2001. His mate was #209.

Last updated: 7/21/06

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