Meet the New 2005 Whooping Crane Chicks!
Hatch-year 2005 of the Eastern Flock

DAR 33-05: "Maya"

Date Hatched at ICF




Date Released in Wisconsin

October 25, 2005

Permanent Band Colors
Left Leg: PTT

Right Leg:

radio USFWS bands
  • Read about the naming system, release site in Wisconsin, over-wintering site in Florida and leg-band codes.

Personality and History: Scroll Down for Most Current

Migration Training: She was hatched at ICF and called "Maya." She was transferred to the Necedah NWR at 1 month of age. Marianne Wellington is a chick-rearing specialist who wore a costume and raised the 4 DAR chicks there. They fledged (had all their flight feathers and could fly) when they were around 70 days old. Unlike their cousins for the ultralight-led migration, the DAR chicks roamed freely on the refuge. Marianne and other costumed parents checked on them many times each day. At night until they're released the chicks are safe in a big pen with a pond and a net over the top. Weight: 6.5 kg on Oct. 22.

Chick #33-05 (along with #27-05) was released for good on the refuge near adult whooping cranes on Oct. 25, 2005, near wild adult whooping crane #205. She has been hanging out with other whooping cranes, sandhills, and DAR chicks on the refuge and nearby areas.

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#33-05 was called "Maya" at ICF. Birds were given names at ICF, but once in the DAR project they became numbers. Photos Marianne Wellington, ICF

Fall 2005--First Migration South as a Direct Release Bird
: All four DAR birds began migration Nov. 24 from Necedah NWR, leaving at 10:33 AM. They took off together with +50 sandhill cranes. Taking advantage of a strong tailwind, these birds soon outdistanced the tracking team. Trackers heard no signals the rest of Day 1. On Day 2, #33-05 (with #28-05 and #32-05) again joined sandhill cranes and flew all the way to Hiwassee NWR in Tennessee--each arriving separately with a sandhill flock, but on the same day as their flock mates led by ultralights! (Chick #33-05 was first of the three to reach Hiwassee Meigs County, on Nov. 25.) Her PTT reading on Dec. 17 was still at Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge. On Dec. 22 she was found in a marsh in Alachua County, FLORIDA (in a flock of about 120 sandhill cranes). She stayed in Alachua County, usually in a cattle pasture and associated wetlands with nonmigratory sandhill cranes.

Spring 2006: Began migration March 29. Tracked in flight on March 30th as she migrated through northern Georgia into Tennessee. She roosted in Jefferson County, IN on April 1, just 8 miles north of the HY2005 group of 14! Radio signals indicated that she resumed migration April 2 (behind the fourteen 2005 birds) from Jefferson County, IN, but apparently landed because of bad weather after only a short flight. Blown by strong west winds, she was discovered in Rush County, IN, April 4. She stayed at that location for the remainder of the week. On April 20 we learned she corrected her course and is now in Michigan.

She was still in Barry County, Michigan in early June. The crane team tried to capture her for return to Wisconsin. The attempt was unsuccessful because there were so many sandshill cranes present that it was hard to get to her, and she was still in Michigan at the end of August. The good news is that she is not alone, but among many sandhill cranes.

Fall 2006: Began migration Nov. 19 and made it to Hiwassee NWR in Meigs County, Tennessee, by November 20. Still there, with #27-05 and thousands of sandhill cranes, as of Jan. 20. She was reported as limping with an injured left leg.

Spring 2007: Began migration from Meigs County, TN on an unknown date and arrived Jackson County, IN by Mar. 1. She stayed there with Sandhill cranes until March 21. She resumed migration and moved to Indiana (PTT reading). On March 26 she was in Oceana County, Michigan, where she remained. On May 25 her PTT batteries stopped working, so she will be hard to track. She was observed June 11 in Van Buren County, MI, but was not found when the area was last checked August 9.

Fall 2007: Remained with large numbers of staging Sandhill cranes in Michigan. Left Michigan on migration after November 19. Found on Hiwassee WR in Tennessee on December 1. She was still there at the end of December.

Spring 2008: DAR 33-05 was reported with migrating sandhills in Jackson County, Indiana, until she resumed migration March 16 or 17. She was next reported with Sandhill cranes in Mason County, Michigan on April 11, 2008. (The eastern shore of Lake Michigan in Oceana and Mason Counties is the area where spring-moving Whooping cranes most frequently stop after they encounter Lake Michigan and do not cross.) On September 22 and 25 she was reported with one sandhill crane in Van Buren County, MI.

Fall 2008: She was reported with several hundred sandhill cranes in Michigan on Nov. 20, but she was found on Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge in Tennessee on the morning of December 1. She had likely arrived the night before. Where did she spend her previous winters?

Spring 2009: DAR 33-05 was reported with sandhill cranes in Hardin County, Kentucky, on February 22 through at least March 1. A Whooping crane reported in Van Buren County, Michigan, on August 18 and again Oct. 27 was probably her.

Fall 2009: A Whooping crane, probably DAR 33-05, was reported in Cass County, Michigan, at mid-November. She was found with sandhills in Jackson County, Indiana, on December 14. Her transmitter was confirmed nonfunctional but she was confirmed in her usual wintering area on Hiwassee WR and Armstrong Bend, in Meigs County, Tennessee.

Spring 2010: DAR 33-05 was reported with migrating sandhills in Barren County, Kentucky on February 6. She was reported with migrating sandhills in Jackson County, Indiana, on February 25. She remained there through at least March 6. She has a nonfunctional transmitter and cannot be tracked.

Fall 2010: See Spring 2010, above.

Spring 2011: See Spring 2010, above.

Fall 2011: Female #33-05 (DAR), who was last reported with migrating sandhill cranes in Jackson County, Indiana on February 25 through March 6, 2010, is now considered dead and has been removed from the population total of the Eastern Flock.

Last updated: 12/27/11

Back to "Meet the Flock 2005"

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