Meet the 2008 Whooping Crane Chicks!
Hatch-year 2008 of the Eastern Flock

Crane # 813

Date Hatched

May 23 , 2008



Egg Source: Calgary Zoo

Leg Bands

(Attached after reaching St. Marks)

Left Leg Right Leg
 radio antenna
  • Read about the naming system, hatch place in Maryland, release site in Wisconsin, over-wintering site in Florida, and leg-band codes.
    *Scroll to bottom for most recent history.*

Personality and Training:

Notes from the captive breeding "hatchery" at Patuxent WRC in Maryland:
Barb calls #813 a dream of a little chick. She was eating and drinking on her own at just over a day old. "Although we need to continue to work with the chick on eating and drinking, how quickly this little one has learned. Oh, if they could all be like little #13."

The largest bird in Cohort 2. Very calm.

Notes from "flight school in Wisconsin:
Arrived at Necedah National Wildlife Refuge July 9 in cohort 2, the middle group in age in the Class of 2008. By Aug. 12 chick #813 was following the trike well and, said pilot Richard, "has the wing figured out better than any of the other birds.” She weighed 5.2 kg at her pre-migration health check Sept. 3.
#813's new leg band attached at pre-migration health check

Photo Richard van Heuvelen, Operation Migration


July in Wisconsin.
Photo Operation Migration

On Oct. 4 pilot Chris and handlers at the pen spent 45 minutes being entertained by #813 and #803 trying to chase off #509, who had stopped by for a visit.

The team calls #813 "Cosmos" because she is so dedicated to the trike! (The ultralight planes are Cosmos brand.)

First Migration South: Chick #813 left Necedah NWR for her first migration on October 17, 2008. Find day-by-day news about the flock's migration and read more about #813 below.

Crane #813 earned her nickname "Cosmos" by being a loyal follower on every day they flew! Here she takes off with Richard.

Photo Heather Ray, Operation Migration

November 21, Day 36: Crane #813 and 12 others flew with Brooke over the Twin Groves wind farm with no problems at 2,000 feet altitude. They flew 114 miles! Today's lead pilot Brooke summed it up: "I don’t know if it was my imagination or what, but I swear our birds looked as proud of themselves as we were of them. They had been in the air 2 hours and 20 minutes, withstood teen temperatures the whole flight, and performed beyond our greatest expectations."
Photo Joe Duff, Operation Migration

November 27, Day 42: She flew all 108 miles without leaving Joe's wing!

January 17, Day 82: Migration to St. Marks NWR Complete (cranes 805, 812, 813, 826, 828, 829 and 830)!

Winter Pen at St. Marks: #813's black "moustache" feathers are already dark, and her head patch is starting to get red.

Photo Bev Paulan, OM
Spring 2009 First Unaided Migration North: All seven juveniles in the St. Marks cohort started their migration north on March 30! Second-hand reports say that the group took to the air, found a thermal, and were gone on the wind as wild cranes fly. Bev and Brooke jumped in the tracking van to see if they could track them for a while but they lost signal at some point. On March 31 a PTT reading from #813 put her in Chambers County, Alabama. This strong-willed and independent female split off from the group in the next few days and was in southeast Iowa April 7 and earlier, according to data from her satellite transmitter. She was still there as of April 15. On April 16 she reached eastern Wisconsin. She roosted in Winnebago County, Wisconsin, on the night of April 18. Will she return to the refuge? She wandered and spent much of the summer in Wood County, WI. without the company of other Whooping cranes.
Fall 2009: Still single, she departed from near Lewiston, Columbia/Sauk Counties, Wisconsin, on December 10. She was wintering with sandhill cranes in Panola County, Mississippi, at least through February 20.

Spring 2010: Neither 813 nor the sandhills she wintered with were present during the check on February 25 in their Mississippi wintering area. Have they begun migration? No reports as of April 5, but #813 was found in Taylor County, WI on April 11!

Fall 2010: Found at Wheeler NWR in Morgan County, Alabama, on November 29 and at least through January 7. No further reports from trackers at least through Feb. 14.
Spring 2011: Female 813 (13-08) was found with sandhills in Jackson County, Indiana, on the morning of February 26. She was reported in flight near Necedah NWR on April 6.
Fall 2011: The missing female 813 (13-08) has not been seen since April 6, 2011.

Spring 2012: Female 813 (13-08) is listed as long-term missing.

Winter 2013: #813 was presumed dead and removed from the population total of the eastern flock.

Last updated: April 2013
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