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

Crane # 819

Date Hatched

May 31 , 2008



Egg source: Calgary Zoo

Leg Bands

(Attached after reaching Chass)

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:
Handlers said he was "an obnoxious little guy" from the start. He is full of energy. He is a good follower during training. For some reason, he likes to annoy #816. He tried to be a top bird from the beginning, and he's been a little punk because of it.

With plastic role model at Patuxent
Photo Brian Clauss, Patuxent WRC

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. Now in flight school, he has a tendency to wander off into the marsh during training! Like the other cohort 2 birds, he was able to take off and fly by August 15. He weighed 5.9 kg at his pre-migration health check and is making good flying progress.

He continues to "stir up the pot" with the younger birds, trying to show them he's better than they are. They are learning to walk away from a fight, so he must be teaching them something!


July in Wisconsin.
Photo Operation Migration


First Migration South: Chick #819 left Necedah NWR for his first migration on October 17, 2008. Find day-by-day news about the flock's migration and read more about #819 below.

November 21, Day 36: Crane #819 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

Nov. 26, Day 41: He wasn't very willing to fly today and tried to turn back to the pen upon takeoff. Swamp Monster was called into action. He and 812 and 830 were mavericks the whole distance to Cumberland County, Ilinois.

Photo Heather Ray, Operation Migration

Dec. 8, Day 53: This is #819 and #829 in a stand-off during the exercise session on this no-fly day.


Photo Heather Ray, Operation Migration

Dec. 12, Day 57: He dropped out about 3 miles after take-off and was crated and driven to the next stop (about 55 miles) for the first time during this migration.

January 23, 2009, Day 88: Migration complete for the "Chass 7" of #819, 824, 804, 803, 818, 814 and 827! SEE PHOTOS >>

Winter at the Chass Pen: Sara reported Feb. 25 that #819's head just has the tiniest bit of red at this time, and his voice has not yet changed to the adult voice. Do you see his bands? His code is G/W/G on the left leg.

Eva calls #819 "a goof. During multiple roost checks, I have observed him dancing around the food shelter, or along the shoreline—throwing pieces of grass or feathers in the air in an effort to get somebody to play."

2009 First Unaided Spring Migration: Cranes 804, 814, 818, and 819 left Florida on March 24 — the first four to leave Florida for Wisconsin on their first unaided migration! He was was last detected continuing migration from Etowah County, Alabama, on March 26. He was no longer with the other members of his migrating group when Eva tracked them to Peoria County, IL. He next showed up April 21 at Necedah NWR! Migration complete!

April 26 in North Dakota (More >>)

The wandering #819 was next reported April 27 in southeastern North Dakota! It was reported and confirmed by USFWS personnel, who saw a single radio-tagged whooper and described the band colors of #819. The young wanderer #819 was next in Minnesota, very near 707 and DAR 39-07, who were back there after spending much of last summer and fall in MN, but he did return to Wisconsin.

Fall 2009: The remains of male #819 were found in an upland field south of Necedah NWR, Juneau County, on September 30. Death occurred between September 25 and September 28, 2009. Many coyote tracks were present in the area.

Last updated: 10/1/09


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