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

Crane # 417

Date Hatched

May 17 , 2004



Date Arrived in Wisconsin

June 30, 2004

Permanent Leg Bands R/G/R
  • 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: Introduced to the trike at 9-days. Received 6 hrs & 32 min. of aircraft conditioning while at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. Was not scared of thunderstorms like other chicks, but was reluctant to follow aircraft on training flights. Swamp Monster used Aug. 19/20 to encourage him. He improved and soon flew 30-minute excursions with the ultralight! Gets along great with #418. Follows the plane well.

First Migration South
: One of the seven who flew on day 1.

Spring 2005: Left on first journey north with the group of 11 on 25 March, 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. Still together, the group of 11 entered Wisconsin the evening of April 4.  On April 6 the group of 11 split. Chick #417 stayed with 2, 3, 15, 16, 19 and 20 in Dane County, WI and they all finished their migration to Necedah NWR on May 3. During the summer, cranes #402, 403, 412, 416, and 417 roosted as a group, often with sandhill cranes. They spent time in Columbia and Marquette Counties, WI.

Fall 2005: Left Wisconsin on its first unaided fall migration on November 9, together with #402, 403, 412, and 416. They made it to Indiana the first day.On November 10th they were roosting at a central Tennessee location. On November 10th they were roosting at a central Tennessee location. According to tracker Lara Fondow, the five males landed at their former pen site in Florida at 2:05 November 17. They are the first Eastern flock whoopers to complete migration to the primary wintering area in west-central Florida this fall! With no free food at the pen, they wandered north the next day.

Spring 2006: Began migration on March 27 or 28 in a group with 402, 412, 403 and 416. They were reported in Dane County, WI on March 31. They moved up to Necedah NWR to complete their migration on April 6!

Death: The remains of #417 were found on Wisconsin's N Gallagher Flowage, Sandhill SWA, on June 18, 2006. The mortality site contained no standing water. Predation is suspected, as tooth marks are the legs are consistent with those of a coyote.


Last updated: 6/20/06

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