Photo: Operation Migration
Meet the New 2003 Whooping Crane Chicks!
Hatch-year 2003 of the Eastern Flock

Crane # 313 (13-03)

Date Hatched




Date Arrived in Wisconsin


Permanent Leg Bands
R/W/R (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

Personality Characteristics: Large, aggressive, dominant female who often chases off the big white older cranes from the 2001 and 2002 ultralight groups. Feisty with costumed handlers. Like to assert authority. Turned back and landed at Necedah on day 1 of the migration along with 302, 310 and 311.

Migration South:
Flew every mile with the ultralight!
History: 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. #313 and #310 were later found by a pond in a south Georgia pasture--within 3 miles of the southward migration route! Next reported in Illinois on April 16 and at a small pond in northwest Iowa on April 17. Arrived home at Necedah NWR April 19 with #310.

Fall 2004:
#310 and 313 began migration from Juneau County, WI on Nov. 7 and flew to Kankankee Cty., IL. They were next tracked on Nov. 15 in Nelson County, Kentucky where they remained at least through December 5. They were no longer at this site when it was checked on Dec. 15.
The three birds were next located together during an aerial survey by Lara Fondow on January 18, 2005 in a managed wetland in Colleton County, South Carolina.

Spring 2005: Began migration March 20 together with #310. The two were reported wandering in Michigan the first half of April. Joe Duff says, "They are far enough south that they could circumnavigate Lake Michigan and make it home, but none of us holds out much hope." Cranes #310 and #313 were detected in flight in SE Michigan from tracking aircraft on the west side of Lake Michigan on 14 April. And then---surprise! On May 21 #310 and #313 arrived on Necedah National Wildlife Refuge(NWR). She was seen several times with #208 during the summer.

Fall 2005:Began migration on Nov. 24 with #205. Migrating together, they reached #205's former winter home on a Pasco County ranch in Florida, on December 1. By the end of December, at least 100 sandhill cranes were there along with whooping cranes#102, #212, #208, #105, and #204. The pair (#205/#313) unison-called when the newly arrived whooping cranes flew over them.

Spring 2006:Crane #313 (together with #205) began migration from a cattle ranch in Pasco County, Florida on February 28. A pair of cranes reported March 3 in Indiana could have been this pair. They were confirmed home in Wisconsin March 17.

Fall 2006: With her mate #208, she was one of the last whooping cranes to leave Wisconsin's Necedah NWR in November. The pair was at a migration stopover in
Greene County, Indiana for an extended time, and her mate was found under a power line on Dec. 23. He was rescued and taken for medical care but died on Dec. 27, 2006. Crane #313 remained at their Indiana stopover site until the first week in February. She moved on when the coldest arctic air mass of the season chilled the Midwest.

Spring 2007: Migrated back to the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge in Wisconsin, probably by March 12, and she was observed with two sandhill cranes on March 15. Later in March she was associating with whoopers #310 and #205.

Fall 2007: Female #313 and male #318 left Wisconsin on migration on November 22. They were reported with #506 in Alabama on December 27-30. They arrived at their old Florida pen site at Chass on January 5 and roosted there along with #309 and #403. The group of five moved the next day to Sumter County and moved again on January 7, when they separated in flight. Cranes #313 and #318 were tracked to Putnam County, Florida, but they continued northward.

May 6: nest and eggs abandoned
Photo Richard Urbanek, ICF

Spring 2008: Female #313 and her mate (#318) began migration March 10 and were tracked to their first overnight migration stop in Madison County, Florida. The pair completed migration back to their territory on Necedah NWR April 3. They built a nest and began incubation on April 13 or 14. On May 6 they abandoned their nest, leaving 2 fertile eggs. The eggs were collected and taken to ICF in hopes they can hatch.


Fall 2008: Began migration from Wisconsin on November 17, along with mate 318 and 12 other Whooping cranes. She and mate 318 were found in good crane habitat in Bradley County, Tennessee on January 11, 2009.

Spring 2009: Began migration from Bradley County, Tennessee, after March 8. At Green County, Indiana stopover March 10-15. Confirmed back in Wisconsin March 23 with mate #318. ICF's Eva confirmed 313 and 318 incubating on a nest located on their usual territory on April 7 or before! The nest failed April 19. They re-nested but that nest also failed (May 17). The pair remained together in the area all summer.

Fall 2009: #313 and mate #318 began migration on November 2 or 3. By Nov. 4 they were reported at a previously used migration stop in Greene County, Indiana. They ended up at their previous wintering area in Bradley County, Tennessee.

Spring 2010: Crane 313 and mate 318 began migration sometime after Feb. 13, as they were were reported back at a previously used migration stop in Greene County, Indiana, on February 26. They remained there until departure some time between March 18-22. The pair was reported back on Necedah NWR by March 24 and were observed on a nest during an aerial survey on April 5, but the nest failed. They did not try again. Her mate began also spending time with #509. However, the pair #313/#318 was consistently together again by migration.

Fall 2010: Crane #313 (13-03) and mate #318 (18-03) remained on Goose Pond FWA, Greene County, Indiana, at least through the morning of December 22. A pair of Whooping cranes seen in flight just to the south of Goose Pond on the morning of December 25 were likely these birds. They were next reported on their usual wintering territory in Bradley County, Tennessee, on December 30.

Spring 2011: Migrating pair #313 and #318 (18-03/13-03) were reported in Greene County, Indiana, on February 24. They stayed there at least through March 4. (Compare this with their timing last spring, above!) On March 21 they were in Stephenson Cty, IL. They completed migration to Necedah NWR on March 25.

But then apparently male #509 (see spring 2010, above) won female #313 away from the mate with whom she had not successfully nested. By April 12, female #313 and male #509 were incubating on a nest! They hatched one chick (W3-11) on May 10. The chick survived the May 22 tornado in the nesting territory but disappeared on June 10.

Fall 2011: Female #313 and new mate #509 began fall migration between November 23-27. Their wintering area was unknown to trackers.

Spring 2012: Female #313's mate #509 was detected as he arrived back at Wisconsin's Necedah NWR on March 11, migration complete! Her transmitter isn't working, but it was assumed that #313 was with him. They were found with a nest on April 6 but they later abandoned it. The pair built a second nest and started incubating Aprill 18. This nest was successful! Chick #W8-12 was confirmed on the May 21 tracking flight. Chick W8-12 still survives as of Nov., 2012.

Fall 2012: She was captured Oct. 17 and her transmitter replaced before migration. Her original band colors remain the same. She migrated south with her mate and chick and they were believed to be in Indiana as of Dec. 21, per tracker Eva Szyszkoski.

Spring 2013: On March 30 the family of #13-03, mate #9-05 and last summer's chick #W8-12, completed their migration north. HOORAY! The pair was already sitting on a new nest by mid April. They abandoned the nest but their two rescued eggs were incubated at ICF and chicks #1-13 and #4-13 hatched to become part of the ultralight-led cohort for the Class of 2013.

Fall 2013: Migrated south with her mate and their chick. The family was believed to be in Indiana as of Dec. 21, per tracker Eva Szyszki.

Spring 2014: Pair #13-03 and #9-05 completed migration back to the Necedah NWR on 26 March. The pair nested in Juneau County and were first seen incubating on April 9. They hatched the season's FIRST chick on May 8 and the second soon after! The first chick was assigned the number W1-14: “W” for a wild chick, 1 for the first hatch of the year, and 14 for the year. The second chick is W2-14. Neither chick survived the summer. However, the parents "adopted" one of the chicks from the parent-reared release program when young female #20-14 was released by them in fall before migration.
Mom crane 13-03 with mate 9-05 and week-old chicks W1-14 and W2-14
Photo: USFWS

Fall 2014: Pair #13-03 and #9-05 and parent-reared chick #20-14 (adopted after their own chicks didn't survive) migrated together to Greene County, Indiana, departing Necedah on Oct. 31. Well done! These three birds were seen associating with pair #8-04 and #19-05 in December at their Indiana location. Young #20-14 was in Jackson County, Alabama, with her new "parents" all winter.

Spring 2015: The family began migration from Jackson County, Alabama, on March 7-8 with their adopted parent-reared chick #20-14, and the three completed migration back to Wisconsin by March 19.
The adult pair nested and on May 3 they hatched the first chick of the season, but the chick soon disappeared.

Fall 2015: Pair #13-03 and #9-05 were confirmed in Greene County, Indiana by Nov. 13, having departed Necedah NWR sometime in the previous two weeks. Several other whoopers from the eastern flock were also in Geene County on that date.

Spring 2016: Pair #13-03 and #9-05 were back at Necedah NWR and already tending a nest with two eggs by April 7! They were the first nesters this season and On May 1-2, hatched two chicks: W1-16 and W2-16! On May 5, Wisconsin DNR pilot Bev Paulan photographed mom #13-03 with both her chicks (below), but neither chick survived the summer.

Crane #13-03 with her twin chicks on May 5, 2016

Fall 2016: Wintered again in Green County, Indiana.

Spring 2017: Pair #13-03 and #9-05 were back at Necedah NWR and tending a nest by early April. They re-nested and were incubating their second nest when seen on Bev Paulan's May 12 and June 2 flights. They hatched chick W12-17 on June 5, but the chick was discovered dead on June 21.

Last updated: 7/03/2017

Back to "Meet the Flock 2003"

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