hatching at ICF, this chick was nicknamed "Makita" by
caretakers, but her real and only official name is DAR 46-07.
She is the youngest but she holds her own with the bigger birds.
pen mate was agressive, so she had to figure out early
how to take care of herself. She is a "smart cookie" but
worries Marianne because, being 2 weeks younger than the others,
she sometimes goes off by herself. She liked to hang out with
She and DAR #36-07, #41-07 and #45-07 were released on
a pool at Necedah NWR on the evening of October 29, 2007. All four
of them flew to the
nearby main sandhill crane roost, which was also occupied by adult pair #312
and #316. DAR 46-07 tried to associate with #312 and #316 (that's good!)
was met with aggression (that's not good).
Oct. 31, she and DAR #36-07 and DAR #41-07
had rejoined and they began migration! They
spent most of the late morning and afternoon flying
around before heading south. Trackers lost
their signals south of Mauston, WI. On November 1,
she and DAR 36-07 continued southward to
western Indiana. They made further progress in Indiana
on November 2. On Nov. 3 they were tracked
to Grayson County, Kentucky. They separated and
#46-07 roosted in Daviess County, KY that night.
The next day she continued retreating northward
to eventually roost in a reservoir in Gibson
County, Indiana. She was not with Sandhills
and was still at that location as of Nov. 12. She later moved Haywood
County, Tennessee and on November 27 she
continued southward to Arkansas (see
map). How will she know
where to go with no experienced birds to
way? Trackers will keep an eye on her.
Dec. 1, #46-07 got back on track with the help of ICF tracker Richard Urbanek
and intern Eva. They caught 46-07
State Wildlife Area in Tennessee. They released her that evening
in a great place for cranes. The next day she
was in a place with thousands of Sandhill Cranes and adult
Whooping Crane 420! (photo) Experts
will stay with her own species so that someday she can mate and
raise more Whooping Cranes for the new Eastern flock. She
remains in Tennessee at this date.
2008 and First Unassisted Migration North: Began
migration March 16 from her wintering grounds in Meigs Co, Tennessee
along with DAR 37-07, 39-07, 42-07, 43-07, and 44-07. They made good
progress, roosting for one night in Adair County, Kentucky and then
resuming migration the next day to Clark County, Indiana. On March
21, they continued migration to Fayette County, Indiana. PTT
data (satellite data) for DAR 39-07, 44-07, and 46-07 indicated they
finally moved again on April 16. The group proceeded to Tuscola County,
Michigan. They were still there as of
mid May, when they briefly scattered to separate locations but
soon returned to the Tuscola County location. On June 2 trackers
traveled to the cranes' location to try to capture them all and bring them back
to Wisconsin. Only one crane, #37-07, was successfully captured and returned.
The tracking team returned June 10 and caught 46-07 and 2 others and brought
back to Wisconsin!
October, 2008, tracker Eva reported: "46-07 has been
hanging out with #511 for
a while now, and I saw them unison
a little blurry because it was from so far away, but it's
very exciting that she seems to have found a male friend.
she'll follow him to Florida this fall. Male #511 used
to hang around Site 3 on the refuge last year when I was
He was always one of our favorite birds to see there because
he was so mellow, and he enjoyed being around the costumes
and the chicks."
Eva Szyszkoski, WCEP Tracking Team
2008: Left Wisconsin on Nov. 20 in a large group.
Not all of them stayed together, but on Nov. 24, DAR #46-07
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 she resumed migration from White
County, TN and arrived in Cherokee County, Alabama with #511,
512, 716, 724 and DAR 37-08. This
is where she and #412 separated from the others. The two wintered
#412 began migration from Cherokee County, Alabama,
on March 17 or 18. DAR
#46-07 (and presumably #412 was with her) were in Vermillion
County, Indiana March 19. The
pair was confirmed back in Wisconsin by March 28. Female 46-07
split from 412 after arriving on the refuge and was briefly
511 before leaving him
for 402. The
good news is that these two seem to be a pair! They remained
together in the core area all summer.
2009: Pair DAR46-07 and 402 were
still on the Wisconsin refuge as of Nov. 15. They did migrate and wintered in Lake County, Florida.
migration from Florida on March 19 with male #402. They
were later that day reported near Concord, Pike County,
arrived on Necedah NWR by March 28. On April 1, 46-07 (DAR)
was observed unison calling with 211 but she went back to her
#402 the next
news! Female #46-07 has a nest! She and her mate #402 were observed
sitting on a nest
near one of the ultralight training sites on the Necedah National
Wildlife Refuge on April 30th. They continued to incubate and were
still on the nest as of May 28! She is the first DAR
has been part of an active breeding pair since the
DAR program began in 2005. But the pair continued to
incubate an egg eight days after it was due to hatch. The egg
was collected and analyzed at ICF. The ICF veterinary staff found
the egg was infertile. No chicks this year—
2010: Migrating female #46-07* (DAR) and mate #402 were
found (with pair #213 and #218) in Will
County, Illinois, on the afternoon of November 26. They
remained in the area at least through December 2. They completed
migration to their wintering territory in Lake County,
Florida, where they were found during
an aerial survey on December 13.
migration on March 8 with #402 (2-04). Reported
back at Necedah NWR by March 21. They
built a nest and began incubating April 19 and on May 16 little
By mid June, W4-11 was the only surviving wild-hatched chick in this summer breeding
season. Bad news came with the discovery of the chick's remains
on July 1. Cause of death is being determined through necropsy.
more about this nesting pair.
Image: Eva Szyszkoski
and her mom on June 12, 2011. The chick died a few
2011: Began migration Nov. 27. Usually winters in Lake County, Florida, with her mate #402, but they didn't make it that far south this year. They were reported in Hopkins County, Kentucky at the end of January and remained in the area through at least February 13.
2012: She and her mate #402 completed spring migration back to Necedah NWR by March 12. They were found incubating on an April 26 nesting survey flight by trackers. They were off the nest when seen by trackers on the May 21 survey flight, and appeared to nbe tending a chick. Sure enough, it was chick W7-12. The chick survived several weeks, but was no longer alive by the July 6 report from tracker Eva at ICF.
On August 28, 2012, female #46-07 was found dead on Necedah NWR. The loss of a breeding female is a great disappointment.
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