Photo: B Clauss, Patuxent WRC
Meet the New 2006 Whooping Crane Chicks!
Hatch-year 2006 of the Eastern Flock

Crane # 620

Date Hatched

May 28 , 2006



Date of Photo: July 19, 06

Egg Source: Calgary Zoo

Permanent Leg Bands

Weight 9/06/06: 4.6 kg
  • 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

Migration Training as a Chick: While #620 was at Patuxent WRC (before she came to Wisconsin for flight school at about 8 weeks of age), her caretakers said:
"Chick #620 still has hope of something happening to #618 and #622 so she can raise her position in the pecking order! Birds sometimes take advantage of a situation such as fighting to get to dominate another bird. For example, the other day #622 was being very aggressive to #618, who had been bathing in the pond. Chick #620 thought she could get in on the action when the other two were hassling. Luckily, we human handlers (in white costumes) stopped things before they got out of hand." She gets along well with #619, but fights with the ohter chicks through the fence.

She came to Wisconsin on July 20 with the cohort three birds (all of them still troublemakers). By August 15 she was flying the length of the runway in ground effect. Pilot Chris says #620 is by far the best bird of her group of the five youngest birds. August 19 she was flying well. She had even joined pilot Chris as he circled above the runway!

See a photo of #620 in a contest with #618 on September 1.

By mid-September, #620 (along with #618 and #622) was still among the three most aggressive chicks.

First Migration South
: Chick #620 left Wisconsin for her first migration on October 5th, 2006. She flew the whole first leg of the journey and landed safely at Stopover #1! Read day-by-day news about the flock's migration to see what happens. Here's more about #620:

Dec. 18: #620 has flown like an expert for the whole migration until today! Four birds, including #620, dropped out on the way to the last stop before reaching their layover pen. She was captured and boxed to the Gilchrist County, FL. travel pen. She will fly the last leg of the journey with her flock (except for the still-missing #615) tomorrow!

Jan. 12, Moving Day: #620 only made it half way on the first moving day before she (and several others) had a rest stop, another takeoff and still landed short of the final stop by 10 miles. She and the other tired birds spent the night in a travel pen with a few others that had been crated and brought to join them. The next morning in calm air and clear skies, all 12 birds who hadn't made it on moving day #1 took off with Joe's plane. Their final flight with the ultralight lasted 18 charming minutes. They landed at their final winter home at "Chass," where six flockmates had arrived the day before. Migration finally complete!

Feb. 2, 2006: Crane 620 died when violent storms moved through central Florida during the night, killing all 17 chicks in the pen at Chass. Only #615 somehow managed to escape.

Last updated: 2/4/07

Back to "Meet the Flock 2006"

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