Personality and History
Migration Training: He was born hungry. He had such a big appetite that he almost bit the beak off the puppet on the first feeding! He gets cranky when he's hungry, but otherwise he's a sweetie. On May 29, Bev (in costume) said, "I looked down, and there was #706 trying to burrow under my arm. I moved my arm and he nestled right in against my side and lay down." Later that day, he was one of the birds that discovered how to take a bath. With wings flapping and neck dipping, he soon had water rushing across his back, under his wings and over his tail.
He came to Wisconsin for flight school on June 19 in cohort one (the 8 oldest chicks). By July 24, he was flying strongly beneath the wing of the trike for the entire length of the grassy runway, along with 3 of the other oldest chicks. By July 31 he was flying two circuits with the ultralight! He continued to be a strong flyer and outweighed all the chicks at the pre-migration health check in September.
He's always one of the last birds to go back into the pen after training. He is independent and seems to like being alone. On September 15, #706 flew alone with Richard's plane to a height of almost 1,000 feet. It looked like he was having a lovely time all by himself with the ultralight!
Crane 706 started getting his adult voice during the first half of the migration! It changed from a peep to a honk, which seemd to scare him at first. Now he has gotten used to his new sound and seems to like it. He was the second bird (after 707) to start getting his adult voice. He is a dependable flyer and loyal to the aircraft. He didnt make any "headlines" during the migration because he did exactly as the team hoped he would! Go, 706!
Jan. 28, 2008: Migration complete!
Spring 2008, First Journey North: On April 1 the last five members (706, 712, 713, 727, and 733) of the Class of 2007 began migration from the release site in Florida. They encountered a thunderstorm in late afternoon, shifted westward, and landed to roost in Leon County, Florida on the first night of their journey north. They continued on April 2, and once again afternoon showers made them drop out early. Four of them, including 706, landed in Stewart County, Georgia. Unfortunately, 727 dropped out about 6 miles south of the other four. On April 3rd, the four males (706, 712, 713 and 733) continued migration to DeKalb County, Alabama. On April 5, the group became three males as #733 took off by himself.
The three remained at the DeKalb County stop through April 9, when they took off again. They flew until they encountered north winds, and landed about noon in a flooded cornfield in Knox County, Indiana. On April 15, a perfect day for migration, the three birds flew about 290 miles and arrived in Waukesha County, Wisconsin. On April 16 they continued straight north for at least 200 miles— and their signal was lost near the border of Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula. No further reports until April 30 when they were detected in flight north of Necedah NWR and proceeded to roost in Wood County, WI. Migration complete, one day short of 706's first birthday!
Fall 2008: Crane #706 began migration November 15 from Marathon County, Wisconsin along with #712 and 713. On Nov. 17 the group was seen heading south from a migration stop near Indianapolis, Indiana. The three wintered in Polk County, Florida.
Spring 2009: Cranes 706, 712, 713, and 733 remained in Polk County, Florida at least through April 4. On April 17 three of them (706, 712, 713) completed migration to Necedah NWR in Wisconsin. Cranes #706 and #712 were together May 6. Crane #712 later showed up in Burnett County Wisconsin, without #706. He still had not shown up by the end of November.
Fall 2009: Still missing (since May 6, 2009).
Summer 2010: Still missing, male #706 was presumed dead and removed from the total count of the Eastern flock.
Last updated: 8/9/10
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