Key Timeline Events
Hatch Year 2007

Make your own Timeline as you follow the exciting journey!

Feb. 5, 2008 The Class of 2007 is released on Florida's "Chass" National Wildlife Refuge.
Jan. 28, 2008
The longest migration in the project's 7-year history is finally complete!
Nov. 1 DAR chicks 36-07 and 46-07 left Wisconsin this morning on migration! The tracker, traveling by road, lost their signals during late afternoon in northwestern Indiana. Keep up with their progress by clicking on each cranes' life story page.
Oct. 30 DAR #39-07, #43-07, #37-07, #40-07, #42-07, and #44-07 were set free on Necedah National Wildlife Refuge. All the DAR cranes are expected to join up and follow older wild sandhill or Whooping Cranes when they begin their migrations.
Oct. 29 Direct Autumn Release (DAR) birds #36-07, #41-07, #45-07, and #46-07 were set free on the Necedah refuge. Shortly after, they moved to the nearby main Sandhill crane roost which was also occupied at the time by adult Whooping Cranes #312* and #316.
Oct. 15 The HY2007 direct autumn release (DAR) juveniles were banded today. They will be released after they get used to their bands and transmitters.
Oct. 13 Migration begins for 17 chicks led by ultalight planes! For the first time this year, all four ultralight planes and all 17 birds were in the air at once! Keep up with daily migration progress here.
Oct. 10 Target departure date for migration.
Sep. 28 The fence came down and all 17 birds now share the same pen. In a surprising turn of events, they also flew all together today for the first time!
Sep. 26 Perfect weather! Today all the birds trained from their new "group home," but in separate groups.
Sep. 24 The oldest 8 chicks moved to the pen site with the other nine! A fence will keep them apart while they adjust to being all together in such a big group.
Sep. 12 Pilots tried flying the nine chicks of combined cohorts 2 and 3 together for the first time. Luckily, there's more practice time ahead.
Sep. 11 DAR (direct autumn release) chicks passed their health checks! Biologists from ICF and USFWS work mornings with the 10 DAR chicks and have started to let the birds out on their own more. This cuts down the time these chicks spend with the costume/"mom" so they become more independent and look to older cranes on the refuge.
Sep. 7 Team leader Joe Duff announces the estimated departure date for the ultralight-led migration is set for October 10.
Sep. 5 All pre-migration physicals have been completed.

Photo Richard van Heuvelen, OM
Sara holds a chick (with a hood over its head) while Dr. Hartup examines it.
Sep. 4 The 8 oldest birds (cohort 1) had their pre-migration health checks today! All went well.
Aug. 31 Success! The 5 chicks in Cohort 2 followed the ultralight the pen site of Cohort 3! They settled into a pen beside the four youngest chicks. A nylon fence will keep them within sight but apart for the next week while they get used to being together. This is a big step in socialization and combining the 17 chicks into one flock before migration can begin.
Aug. 29/30 In a big step to uniting the whole flock of chicks, Brooke and Chris tried to fly the 5 birds in Cohort 2 over join with the youngest chicks who live at Site 1. No go; the chicks turned back or dropped out.
Aug. 28 Cohort 2 birds have been flying well behind the trike for 5 minutes at a time, but have not yet gone more than a half mile or so from their home territory.
Aug. 22 The 2 youngest birds are making progress. On Aug. 22, #733 flew the length of the runway! Only #735 has yet to take flight.
Aug. 2 All eight chicks in Cohort 1 (the oldest) and three of the six chicks in Cohort 2 (middle in age) have taken flight (fledged)!
July 31 Cohort 2 progress: chicks #716, 717, and 722 all can fly the length of the runway with ease, while #721 and 724 are flying in ground effect for 100+ yards. Cohort 3 is flying in ground effect for short distances, while the youngest birds, #733 and #735, are still developing their primary flight feathers. They run behind the trike with their heavy wings held out.
July 30 Since when are 9 birds in Cohort 1? And when did one of the chicks get so big and so white? Hey, that's #101 following the trike! The big white bird had enough of watching and decided to join in. He flew two-and-a-half circles with chick #703 while the rest of the birds slowly peeled off for the runway.
July 24 All 8 birds are flying at least part of the length of the runway with #703, 706, 709, and 710 flying strongly beneath the wing of the trike for the entire length. Chicks #712 and 713 are a bit younger and are lagging behind a little, but follow quite well and are still able to fly a good distance in ground effect. #714 had been lagging behind with #712 and 713, but after Chris's second taxi run at high speed #714 was right there with the older birds. All 8 birds should be flying short circuits in the next week!
July 18 Cohort 3 (chicks #726, 727, 733, and 735) were flown from Maryland to Wisconsin today. Now the whole Class of 2007 is at the new Eastern flock's summer home.
July 10 Ten whooping crane chicks, 29-46 days of age, were brought from the International Crane Foundation to Necedah NWR in Wisconsin. These special chicks are being costume-reared for direct autumn release (DAR) Two additional chicks, 17-19 days of age, are tentatively for DAR and remain at ICF. These chicks will fly south by joining older Whooping Cranes of their flock in October.
July 9 The birds of cohort 2 saw the wing on the trike for the first time. Chicks #716 and 721 were brave and curious, biting at the struts and cords that support the wing. They followed well as Brooke taxied around with the wing on. These birds quickly learned that the trike's big wing was nothing to be scared of!
July 3

Cohort 2 chicks (#716, 717, 721, 722 and 724) arrive safely in Wisconsin aboard a small private plane. They will live at a pen site apart from the cohort 1 birds for about two months.

Cohort 1 birds (the oldest eight) are following the trike well. #703, the largest and oldest of the group, took some powerful strides with strong wing flapping into a little gust of wind. He could be getting airborne within the week!
June 19 Cohort 1 (the oldest group) left Patuxent WRC aboard a private plane and a few hours later arrived at Wisconsin's Necedah National Wildlife Refuge for "flight school." Cohort 1 includes #703, #706, #707, #709, #710, #712, #713, and #714.
April 29 #703, the oldest chick in the 2007 ultralight flock, hatched at Maryland's Patuxent WRC. Chicks start Ground School training with the trike (without its wing) when they are just a few days old.


Try This! Journaling Question
  • How do this year's events compare with the same events for last year's chicks in the new Eastern flock? For comparison, see: 2006 Timeline Events.

A costumed pilot drives the trike around the outside of the circle pen with the little chick safely inside."Robo-crane" drops mealworms to encourage the little chick to follow the plane as it drives around the fence in a circle.

Photo H. Ray, WCEP


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