Personality and History
Migration Training: In her first few weeks of life, #716 was the dominant one of her group (715, 717, and 718). She was quite aggressive at times. She came to Wisconsin for flight school on July 3 in cohort 2 (the 5 middle chicks in age). When the wing was attached to the ultralight for the first time for cohort 2, chick #716 (with pal #721) was brave and curious, biting at the struts and cords that support the wing. They followed well as Brooke taxied around with the wing on the trike for the first time. By July 24 these two females were catching a bit of air under their wings as they strongly flapped/ran behind the trike during training. By July 31, she could fly the length of the runway with ease! She seemed thrilled to be flying, and eager to fly with the trike. Sometimes she and her pal #717 like to fly over to land in the marsh instead of by the trike. Then they need to be coaxed back to the pen. She thinks for herself. She made steady progress and gained strength and endurance.
Spring 2008, First Journey North: Began migration from Florida March 26 in a group of five (716, 717, 721, 724, and 726). They ended up in Calhoun County, Georgia for the night, about 220 miles north of their starting location. The next day, after a fog rolled through, the cranes resumed migration to Coffee County, Tennessee. On March 31, these five birds left Coffee County and were in Daviess County, Indiana that evening. They continued migration to Jefferson County, Wisconsin on April 16. On April 19 at 11:30 they arrived in the vicinity of Necedah NWR and proceeded to circle over portions of Juneau, Adams, Monroe, and Wood Counties before they landed on farmland along the Yellow River. Migration complete! (They didn't stay on Necedah NWR until April 21.)
Fall 2008: Left Wisconsin on Nov. 20 in a large group. Not all of them stayed together, but on Nov. 24, crane #716 was in a group of eight (including #10-08, who was removed from the ultalight cohort) that reached the border of southern Illinois and southern Indiana. The group stayed together in Gibson County, Indiana until Dec. 21, when they moved to White County, Tennessee. On Dec. 22 he resumed migration from White County, TN and arrived in Cherokee County, Alabama with #511, 512, 724, DAR 46-07 and DAR 37-08. She was confirmed at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park in Alachua County, Florida, on January 1, 2009! With her were first-timers #10-08 and DAR 37-08 and #511, 512, and 724. They completed migration sometime December 28 - 31.
Spring 2009: Began migration from Alachua County, Florida on March 10 (with 511 and 724). Migration stops were March 12 at Cherokee County, AL; March 16 at Coffee County, Tennessee; March 18-20 at Knox County, Indiana; March 21 at DeKalb County, Illinois. The birds apparently completed migration to Necedah NWR on 22 March. She began closely associating with male #216 by March 27 and the two were observed unison calling on that day. They spent all summer together in the core area.
Fall 2009: Crane #716 left Necedah NWR on migration November 26, migrating in a group with several other departing Whooping cranes before landing to roost at an undetermined location(s) in Illinois. Then cranes #716 and #216 continued with 512/722 and (DAR) 38-09. The group was located by aerial survey while in flight over Clark County, Illinois, on Nov. 27. They landed to roost in Lawrence County, Illinois, and on Nov. 28 continued ~20 miles SE to Knox County, Indiana. They were still there Feb. 6.
Spring 2010: Crane pair 216/716, pair 512/722/, and 38-09 (DAR) remained along the Wabash River, in Knox County, Indiana until they began migration on March 17. A low precision PTT reading for #722 indicated a roost location in Dane County, Wisconsin, on the night of March 20. Were the others with her? Female #716 was reported by March 29. She separated from her mate #216 and apparently paired with male #316. (But not for long!)
Fall 2010: Female 716 (16-07), back again with #216 (16-02) was reported with cranes #804 (4-08) and #910 (10-09) in Knox County, Indiana, on November 28. They remained there at least through December 10. They were found at a previous wintering area of #216 in Lawrence Co, Tennessee on February 8. The area had checked earlier, and they may have been here since moving from Knox County, Indiana.
Spring 2011: Migrating pair #716 (16-07) and mate #216 (16-02) were reported in Wayne County, Illinois, on March 1 and remained at least through March 4. The pair had completed migration to the Wisconsin core area by March 21. By April 7 this pair was nesting for the first time! But alas, these first-time nesters weren't on their nest when it was checked on April 24. One egg was removed from the nest but unfortunately the egg was already cold and as a result unlikely to be viable.
Fall 2011: Migrated with #216 to Knox County, Indiana.
Spring 2012: She was assumed to be with her mate, #216 when his signal was detected in flight March 15 with several other Whooping cranes as they headed north over ICF in Baraboo, Wisconsin—close to Necedah NWR. They were sitting on a nest on April 5. That nest failed but they had a second nest by May 7 and were still incubating on May 21 when trackers checked from an airplane. The refuge reported Chick W9-12 hatched on June 5 and was observed by ICF tracker Eva on June 6. The chick did not survive the summer.
Fall 2012: She was captured Oct. 12 and her transmitter replaced before migration. Her old color of white with the PTT was replaced by W/R/W on the right leg. On Nov. 21 she and mate #216 were discovered in Gibson County, Indiana, where they remained throughout the winter. Also present there were pair #512 /#722 and males #919 and #25-10 DAR.
Spring 2013: Female #716 and mate #216 completed spring migration March 30. They soon had a nest together, but it failed and they re-nested. This nest, too, was abandoned but both eggs were rescued and taken to ICF for incubation. The eggs successfully hatched May 17 and May 18 to become chicks #7-13 and #8-13 for the Class of 2013 ultralight-led fall migration.
Fall 2013: Female #16-07 and mate #16-02 migrated to Gibson County, Indiana, where they were last reported at least through Feb. 2014. ICF tracker Eva took this photo on Feb. 12, 2014 with support from Windway Aircraft:
Spring 2014: Female #16-07 and mate #16-02 completed spring migration to Necedah NWR March 28. The pair nested in Juneau County, and the nest was still active as of April 30 but failed in May when parents abandoned it.
Fall 2014: Female #16-07 began fall migration from Necedah on November 8th with her mate, #16-02. They wintered in Gibson County, Indiana.
Spring 2015: Pair #16-07 and #16-02 returned to Necedah NWR and nested. Those first eggs were removed by experts in the forced renesting program, but their second nest produced chick W21-15 on June 1 and W22 on June 2. Here's a parent and chick on June 8. One chick was seen alive on June 23, but did not survive to fledge.
Spring 2016: Pair #16-07 and #16-02 were observed back on territory at Necedah NWR by the March 30 aerial survey flight. They were seen on a nest on a May 19 survey flight.
Last updated: 4/20/16
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