|Feb. 5, 2008
Class of 2007 is released on Florida's "Chass" National
|The longest migration in the project's
7-year history is finally complete!
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'
#39-07, #43-07, #37-07, #40-07, #42-07, and #44-07 were set free on Necedah National Wildlife Refuge.
DAR cranes are expected to join up and follow older
wild sandhill or Whooping Cranes when they begin
Autumn Release (DAR)
birds #36-07, #41-07, #45-07, and #46-07 were set
free on the Necedah refuge. Shortly after, they moved
the nearby main
Sandhill crane roost which was also occupied at the
time by adult Whooping Cranes #312* and #316.
HY2007 direct autumn release (DAR) juveniles were
banded today. They will be released after they
get used to their bands and transmitters.
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.
||Target departure date for migration.
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!
all the birds trained from their new "group
but in separate groups.
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.
tried flying the nine chicks of combined cohorts
2 and 3 together for the first time.
Luckily, there's more practice time ahead.
(direct autumn release) chicks passed their health
checks! Biologists from ICF and USFWS work
mornings with the
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.
leader Joe Duff announces the estimated
departure date for the ultralight-led migration is set
for October 10.
pre-migration physicals have been completed.
Richard van Heuvelen, OM
Sara holds a chick (with a hood over its head)
while Dr. Hartup examines it.
||The 8 oldest birds (cohort 1) had their pre-migration health
checks today! All went well.
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.
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.
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.
2 youngest birds are making progress. On Aug. 22, #733 flew the
length of the runway! Only
#735 has yet to take flight.
eight chicks in Cohort 1 (the oldest) and three of the six chicks
in Cohort 2 (middle in age) have taken flight (fledged)!
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
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
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.