Photo: Operation Migration
Meet the New 2004 Whooping Crane Chicks!
Hatch-year 2004 of the Eastern Flock

Crane # 407 (7-04)

Date Hatched

May 5 , 2004



Date Arrived in Wisconsin

June 16, 2004

Permanent Leg Bands



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


Migration Training: Introduced to the trike at 7 days. Received 7 hrs & 5 min. of aircraft conditioning while at PWRC. Was often a "jerk" in his small group but got clobbered when he picked on the older 402, who then proved HE was boss.

First Migration South
:Didn't fly on Day 1 and dropped out on Day 2.

Spring 2005:
Left on first journey north with the group of 11 on March 25, 2005 after 103 days on wintering grounds. After flying through Georgia and veering as far east as South Carolina, the flock corrected their course, stopping in Indiana before reaching Wisconsin on April 4  — but they must not have thought they were home! On April 6 the group of 11 split. Chick #407 stayed with 401, 408 and 414. They returned to their previous roost in Fond du Lac County, WI but were next seen April 14 during an aerial search in Winnebago County, Illinois, in a harvested cornfield 1 mile south of the Wisconsin border. They roosted at this location and foraged in cornfields on both sides of the Illinois-Wisconsin state line until April 25. Then they flew northward to roost in Adams County, WI — 27 miles from Necedah NWR.  On April 27 they completed migration to Necedah NWR, then flew to nearby Yellow River Cranberry, just east of the Refuge, to join #312 and #316. They stayed there several days, but #401, #407 and #408 left the area on May 3 (after #414 was killed by a large predator during the night). On May 9 and 10, they were confirmed in southeastern Wisconsin. These three wandered into southeastern Minnesota in mid June, normal behavior for yearling cranes. During summer, #401, 407, and 408 roosted together back at Necedah NWR.

Cranes #401, 407, 408 on Nov. 22, 2005. Photo WCEP Trackers

Fall 2005: Cooler temperatures at the end of August prompted some early autumn staging/pre-migratory activity, and the three birds moved from Necedah NWR to Morrison County in central Minnesota. They were seen there on several dates up to Nov. 9. They were next sighted Nov. 22 in Washington County, Indiana—on migration! They were using the shallow edge of a lake and foraging in a harvested cornfield next to the lake. They roosted near Hiwassee NWR in TN on Nov. 24. On Nov. 24 they were in Sumter County, GA. On Nov. 30, cranes #401, 407, and 408 completed migration when they arrived at the Florida pen site. They soon moved on to other nearby areas.

Spring 2006: Still with #401 and #408, he left Madison County, Florida, and flew into Georgia on March 9. They completed migration to Wisconsin's Necedah NWR March 20. He must like Minnesota, because he and the younger #508 moved there the end of August. A PTT reading for #508 on the night of 8 September 8 indicated that r #508 and #407 were in the southeastern MINNESOTA area where #407 had been at the same time last year (2005). They later moved to Marathon County, Wisconsin, where they hung out with a flock of sandhill cranes.

Fall 2006: Remained in Central Wisconsin with mate #508 until late November. Was not seen after November 29 in Marathon County, Wisconsin. He has a nonfunctional transmitter and cannot be tracked. Then on Dec. 28 he was seen in Pasco County, Florida. He hung out with #309, #520 and sandhill cranes.

Spring 2007: Began migration from Alachua County, FL on March 19 (with female #309, with whom he paired with early in the winter). Her PTT readings indicated they separated on or before their stop in Indiana on March 23 or 24. Crane #407 was back at the Necedah NWR in Wisconsin on March 29, alone. He was apparently unable to convince the wayward female to follow him back to the right place!

Crane #407 died before summer's end. On September 13, 2007, the decomposed but otherwise intact carcass of #407 was found in dry sedge marsh at his Wisconsin territory on northeastern Meadow Valley Flowage. Tracking data indicated that death probably occurred during August 29-31.

He was last seen alive on August 20, the same date that the carcass of his mate (#502) was retrieved in the same general location.

Last updated: 9/15/07

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