Photo M. Wellington, ICF
Meet the 2006 Whooping Crane Chicks!
Hatch-year 2006 of the Eastern Flock

Crane # 28-06 DAR

Date Hatched

May 29, 2006



Date of Photo:

Egg Source: ICF

Permanent Leg Bands
Left Leg:

Right Leg: PTT

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

Personality and History

Before Release
Marianne says #28-06 Is a good flyer. He seems to float between hanging out with the older chicks as well as the younger ones. He and #30-06 have had several battles for their place in the hierarchy. Now #28-06 is once again dominant over 30.

Chick #28-06 often hangs out with #32-06. Of all the DAR chicks, 28 is the lightest in coloration right now. He still is cinnamon and white but the brown is lighter than it was earlier.

Oct. 4, 2006: The DAR chicks had their pre-release health checks.

Oct. 17, 2006: Dr. Richard Urbanek said the DAR birds received their permanent leg bands. Chick #28-06 and the other four will be released as soon as they get usedd to their new leg bands and transmitters. Their freedom is near! Will they hang out with, and then follow, the older whooping and sandhill cranes to learn their migration route?

October 21: Chick #28-06 (with #26-06) was set free on the Wisconsin refuge where it spent its first months of life. The two newly released chicks quickly returned to the pool in their rearing area, and remained there to roost. The next day they visited with the First Family, also at home on the refuge (until fall migration).

On October 28, DAR chick #28-06 left Wisconsin with #26-06 on their first migration! but moving too fast for the ground tracker! PTT readings from #28-06 for Oct. 29 and 30 showed him in southern Indiana! A roost check on the night of 30 October confirmed that #26-06 and #28-06 stayed together. They were seen Oct. 31 and again Nov. 25 in Indiana, feeding mainly in harvested cornfields with hundreds of sandhill cranes. On December 4 they continued migration to Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge, in Tennessee. They left Hiwassee December 7 and were detected Dec. 8 in Florida. They are moving around a bit, but staying in areas where our Eastern flock spends the winter. They were with wintering sandhill cranes in Pasco County at the end of December. On Jan. 12 they flew to the Chass pen site for a quick visit before flying off to a Lake in Hernando County.

Spring 2007: Began migration (with #26-06) from Pasco County, FL on March 24.
They flew to Thomas County, Georgia that day. They roosted in Tennessee on the nights of March 25 and 26. They were grounded by rain and poor migrating conditions in Daviess County, Indiana for the rest of the week. On April 1 the two separated. DAR 26-06 remained behind while DAR 28-06 continued migration to Pulaski County, IN. He left there on April 17. On 19 April 19 he was detected in flight in south-central Wisconsin. April 20 he continued northwestward and roosted in Olmsted County, Minnesota. He returned to Wisconsin on April 21 and returned to Necedah NWR on April 23. He roosted that night with #307 and W1-06.

Fall 2007: DAR 28-06 (with 27-06) began migration on Nov. 5 and made it all the way to Jasper-Pulaski FWA, Indiana on the first day. By Nov. 12, they arrived on the wintering area in Pasco County, Florida. They were the first Florida arrivals in the flock this winter!

Spring 2008: Dar 28-06 was still on winter territory in Pasco County, Florida on March 22, and arrived on Necedah NWR (with DAR 27-06) on April 3! He wandered a great deal but on May 17 he returned to a Juneau County location where he remained with #27-06.

Fall 2008: DAR #28-06 and DAR 27-06 disappeared from Neceda NWR after October 25. He has a nonfunctional transmitter and cannot be tracked, but an unconfirmed report of two Whooping cranes in Winnebago County, Illinois on Oct. 29 may have been these two. On November 19 the automatic datalogger showed them in the area of their Pasco County, Florida winter home!

Spring 2009: Began migration from Pasco County on March 18 with 27-06 (DAR). They were reported in Porter County, Indiana, on the night of March 22. They completed migration to Necedah NWR by March 28. He associated with female DAR 42-07 on April 2 and 3. Unpaired, he was last detected by trackers on June 23, 2009.

Fall 2009: Still missing.

Summer 2010: After not being seen or detected since June 2009, male #28-06 (DAR) was removed from the population total and presumed dead.

Last updated: 8/9/10

Back to "Meet the Flock 2006"

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