Meet the New 2007 Whooping Crane Chicks!
Hatch-year 2007 of the Eastern Flock

Crane # 712 (12-07)

Date Hatched

May 9 , 2007



Egg Source: Calgary Zoo

Permanent Leg Bands

Weight 09/05/07: 6.2 kilograms

Left Leg Right Leg
  • 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: 712 was shy as a tiny chick, and often peeped for its parent. Being one of the youngest in his group, he often lagged behind the others a little, but followed the trike quite well. When he and 713 were socialized together as little chicks, 713 was dominant over 712, who never seemed to recover from it. He is/was probably one of the more submissive birds in cohort 1. "In fact, I can't recall a single time that he's ever shown aggression towards me," said Megan. Chick 712 came to Wisconsin for flight school on June 19 in cohort one, the 8 oldest chicks. By July 24 could fly a good distance in ground effect.

By the end of August, most of 712's group of 8 chicks flew very well for more than 20 minutes at a time. But 712 sometimes turned back early and landed back at the pen. On Aug. 31, ALL eight chicks in this group stayed together in the air for more than 20 minutes! But the next day #712 dropped out again. He needs watching!


First Migration South: Chick #712 left Wisconsin for his first migration on October 13th, 2007. He flew the whole first leg of the journey and landed safely at Stopover #1! Find day-by-day news about the flock's migration and read more about #712 below.

Oct. 13, Day 1: #712 was one of many birds who didn't want to follow the plane across the highway and away from the refuge on departure day. He turned back to his familiar pen site where pilot Richard, helped by noisy Swamp Monster (Bev), convinced the bird to stay with the plane and fly to a new place.

Crane #712 proved a good and brave flyer after that. He was always ready to go, completed all the flights, and performed well!

Jan. 28, 2008: Migration complete!

#712 pecks at some pumpkin in the pen on December 14, 2007. He still has some "rusty" chick coloring.
Photo Bev Paulan, Operation Migration


Spring 2008, First Journey North: On April 1 the last five members (712, 713, 706, 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 712, 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.

Tracker Eva Szyszkoski took these photos of #706, 712, and 713 in DeKalb County, Alabama.

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! He wandered in the summer and (together with 706 and 713) was reported in North Dakota in early June and in Minnesota in September.

Fall 2008: Crane #712 began migration November 15 from Marathon County, Wisconsin along with #713 and 706. 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: Crane 712 (with 706, 713, and 733) remained in Polk County, Florida at least through April 4. On April 17 three of them (712, 706, 713) completed migration to Necedah NWR in Wisconsin. Cranes #712 and #706 went missing on May 6, but #712 later showed up in Burnett County Wisconsin, without #706. He still had not shown up by the end of October, but it turns out #712 was with #514 near Baraboo, Wisconsin.

Fall 2009: Began migration with #514 on November 15, a day with clear skies and north winds to help push them south. Amazingly, they met up with a pair (#401 and #508) and another single crane (#829) at the same location in Winnebago County, Illinois! The three "groups" had started out from three different locations. Crane 712 arrived in Florida by December 16 with #829. The two were reported with sandhill cranes in Alachua County, on December 16 and had left that location by December 21. Crane 712's winter location was not determined. He was next reported with non-migratory sandhill cranes in Hernando County, FL on March 2-6 and was still there through at least the last check on March 19, 2010.

Spring 2010: He remained with non-migratory sandhill cranes in Hernando County, Florida, until he apparently began migration on March 25. He was confirmed back at Wisconsin's Necedah NWR on April 26.

Fall 2010: He was detected on the refuge September 4 and next reported September 28 [with female 717 (17-07) and 31-08 (DAR)] in Columbia County, Wisconsin. These three cranes were in Shelby County, Illinois on Dec. 6. Two other cranes had joined them, and four of this group were detected together in flight through western Kentucky on that same day. They completed migration and wintered in Polk County, Florida.

Spring 2011: Began migration sometime between March 7-13 and reported back at Necedah NWR by March 21 with #717.

Fall 2011: He migrated from Necedah NWR in Wisconsin to Polk County, Florida.

Spring 2012: Male #712 (12-07) was last observed on Necedah NWR on April 25, 2012. His transmitter doesn't work so he cannot be tracked.

Fall 2012: Missing.

Spring 2013: Still missing.

Fall 2013: Still missing.

Spring 2014: Missing since April 2012, and now presumed dead; removed from the flock's population totals in March 2014.

Last updated: 3/4/14

Back to "Meet the Flock 2007"


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