the New 2007 Whooping Crane Chicks!
2007 of the
Source: USGS Patuxent WRC
Band: AZURE 35
she's released she'll get color bands put back on her right
leg and they will be the color bands that #717 used to
have: W/G and PTT
about the naming system, hatch place in
Maryland, release site in Wisconsin, over-wintering
site in Florida, and leg-band codes.
came to Wisconsin in cohort 3, the group of 4 youngest chicks that
arrived July 18. Little
#735 is a timid bird, and has been spooked once or twice (including
incident with a female deer!). Still, she remains a good follower
and stays out of everyone's way. In
the 4th week of July, she still had some of her soft, fluffy down,
giving her a fuzzy appearance. By
July 31 she was still
developing her primary flight feathers. She ran behind the trike
with her heavy wings held out. Even
though she and her young pal #733 couldn't keep up with the others
in their group, the two youngsters always tried. And they always
came up to the trike at the end of the training session.
Aug. 22, #735 was close to flying as she ran and flapped furiously
trying to keep up. Photo OM
mid August, #735 was let out of the pen after the two
older birds in
had some training
time. Then pilots slowed the pace down for her and 733 (the two
youngest birds) so all four in this group could train
together. She made progress, mostly flying in ground effect.
On September 8 it was too windy for the four youngest chicks to
pen to exercise. Little
to fly a couple of lengths of the grass runway. By mid-September
she was able to fly circles in the air.
after health checks, one of her wings was drooping. Over the next
10 days or so, she
could tuck her wing back up, but was the wing really getting better?
Bad weather has prevented them from training much. On days they
train, she didn't fly very
well. But good news came on Sept. 14 when Megan let #735 out by
herself to exercise. Megan said, "She caught the wind and
ever seen the chicks go without an ultralight! She flew a loop
landed next to me and went right up again. She landed once
more, but then flew the length of the runway only a few feet above
the ground. Then she took off again! When 735 landed next to me,
I tried to use my vocalizer to lure her back to the pen. But it
was too cold to work! Instead, I
turned towards the pen and started running. When I looked back the
first time, she was only watching me at a standstill. To my dismay,
the second time I turned, she was flying in the opposite direction!
But as I watched, she turned and flew straight at me. She was too
high to land and banked right to fly a wide arch over the pen, the
marsh and the other end of the runway, before landing right beside
me in front of the pen door. All this from an injured bird!" So,
it looks like #735's wing is better again! Best of luck to the youngest
bird on her first migration!
Migration South: Chick #735 left Wisconsin
for his first migration on October 13th, 2007.
She flew the whole first leg of the
journey and landed
at Stopover #1! Find day-by-day
news about the flock's migration and read more about #735 below.
13, Day 1: The youngest of the 17 birds and the
newest flyer, #735 made the 4-mile flight on departure
day! Richard led her on his wing and she was
the last bird
to arrive, but she made it all the way under her
23, Day 11: This was only the second
day of actual flying during the migration,
and after 10
days off, #735 wasn't eager to fly. She
dropped before she had gone a mile and the ground
took off to find her. Richard flew in
and tried to pick her up, but she was unwilling
to take to the air so the handlers moved in to
crate her and drive her to Stopover #2.
18, Day 37: Nathan and Megan say that
#735 is easy to spot because she still has many
rusty-colored feathers of a younger crane. She
is gaining strength and endurance, and
has been flying really well!
12, Day 61: It was a no-fly day, but
a day for exercise. After flying in the misty
air and running around in the rain, it was
time for the birds to go back into the pen.
Thirteen went in, but four were holdouts, including
#735. The four would not budge. Just when the
"costumes" thought they got one bir headed
the right direction, the bird would spin away
back to join the others, like a game of tag
in the rain!
2008: Now at the winter site at "Chass,"
735 is being watched because of some trouble
with her wing. See what happened in this slide
2008: First Migration North: On March
28, the youngest bird in the Class of 2007 became
make it back to Wisconsin—but she got help.
She was #735 was airlifted back to Necedah NWR
in Wisconsin. Until she
can fly again, she
will live in a travel pen there. A team from
and Wildlife Service will
#735 is not facing a 1200-mile migration,
she only needs to recover well enough to fly
in the local area at the summer nesting grounds.
Then she can be released again. Thanks to the
care team at Disney World and
WCEP partners and supporters, young
has one more chance at being wild.
10, 2008: Crane
#735 will live in a pen at Necedah and get physical
thereapy in hope she will fly again. Sara
is doing well though still won't fully extend
her wings. Before she left Florida we were doing
physical therapy on her wings. Now that more
tracking team is back in WI, we'll
begin that therapy again. At first I was
concerned that there could be problems if older
whooping cranes discovered #735
in that pen. I was worried
she might become stressed and pace in her pen,
but she's been visited by #216 (photo below,
right) and also by 211 & 217,
and she doesn't seem to mind. She's very calm
and doing well living in that pen.
Colleen Wisinski, ICF
is #735 with a snake in her pen at
adequate physical therapy,
she still was not flying by early
summer, 2008. Her genetic bloodline is
valuable, so #735
will go to a new home to become
a parent bird. She will live at Audubon
Species Survival Center in New Orleans,
LA. The flock population was reduced
by one with her July departure.
Journey North is pleased to feature this educational
adventure made possible by the Whooping
Crane Eastern Partnership (WCEP).