complete migration! They were banded Jan. 24 and released from
their temporary top-netted acclimation enclosure on January 28.
Marks Ten complete migration! They were banded Jan. 15 and released
from the temporary top-netted acclimation enclosure on January
||Migration resumed but the flight had to turn back with
no progress. The migration will carry over to January for
the third year in a row.
||With bad weather ahead, migration was halted for so
the team could take a holiday break until Dec. 29.
nine DAR (Direct Autumn Release) Whooping Crane chicks were released
this evening on the Necedah
National Wildlife Refuge. Biologists from ICF and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife
Service are tracking the released DAR cranes using radio telemetry,
picking up radio signals emitted from leg transmitters on the birds.
The young DAR cranes are currently still on the refuge, but as they
begin the migration south, the tracking team will be monitoring their
8 chicks still at Necedah were boxed up and transported to Stopover
#1. After a rainy week, all 20 chicks are now together. They are
waiting on the weather before they can leave on the second leg
of their migration.
only 5 birds followed
all the way to Stopover #1 on the first try. In the strangest migration
start in the history of the project, "Day One" stretched on for
several more days before all
20 chicks AND the weather cooperated to get them all together again
on the migration route.
and wind at Necedah NWR prevented departure. The Class of 2009
went from 21 to 20 birds with the death of #928.
arrival of a weather system brings light to heavy precipitation
straight through until Oct. 17, so they won't be starting migration
Autumn Release (DAR)
Chicks get their health checks and permanent
color-coded legbands in preparation for their release after
the ultralight-led chicks are gone on migration.
again, the pilots launched but after they got over the refuge,
they found the air too trashy to fly with the birds. Migration departure
tomorrow? We hope!
today's weather turned too nasty to fly, the team crated the 9
birds in their old pen and transported them (except for #928)
to the site
the travel pen, where 11 had already spent the night. All will be
in one place
a departure tomorrow—or the first flyable day.
team tried again today to fly the chicks to their travel pen on
a remote part
of the refuge. It was another air rodeo. By end of day, only 11 were
at the travel pen (some arriving by van in a box) and the other nine
were still at their old familiar pen on the refuge. The weather
||Migration departure postponed but a flight to a farther
place on the refuge will be attempted, with hoped-for departure Oct.
21 few together for the first time. It wasn't migration departure,
but a "wild rodeo" training flight after 11 bad-weather,
no-training days. The team will try moving the chicks tomorrow
to a travel pen set up on a remote part of the refuge. The travel
pen is closer to the first migration stopover site in hopes of
flight even shorter for the chicks, who would have benefited from
more training closer to the departure.
chicks at one pen site! Chicks #903 and 911 (Cohort 1) made the
flight over to join all their
flockmates at the biggest training site. The divider keeps the
oldest birds apart from the others in the pen, but all 21 have
been let outside to socialize together.
One birds (except for 903 and 911) made the flight to move to
the same pen site as the rest of the chicks.
night the fence was down at night for Cohorts Two and Three.
"I am sure everyone of the handlers will have a sleepless
how all the chicks are getting along," said Bev.
departure date is announced: Oct. 10!
health checks for combined cohorts 2 and 3 and cohort 1
middle cohort (2) "moved in" at the pen site of the youngest
cohort (3) today in the first step of
the process of joining all the chicks into one flock for training
and migration. The oldest birds will join them after several more
birds have fledged, with the oldest birds already strong flyers.
This photo shows the oldest birds (cohort 1) on Sep. 3, 2009. Photo
by pilot Chris Gullikson.
Whooping Crane chicks were transferred from ICF to the Necedah
National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) to make up
the 2009 Direct Autumn Release (DAR) cohort. The DAR birds are initially
isolation reared at ICF and then at the Necedah NWR until the fall
when they are released on or near the refuge with older Whooping
Cranes and Sandhill Cranes, from whom they will learn the migration
route this fall. (One later died, the victim of a predator.)
Cohort One birds (the oldest birds) are now flying.
Three birds (922, 924, 925, 926, 927, 928, 929, 931) AND #908 arrive
Two birds (912, 913, 914, 915, 918, 919) arrive in Wisconsin.
One birds (901, 903, 904, 905, 906, 907, 908, 910 and 911) arrive
in Wisconsin in individual crates aboard a
plane. (Chick #908, recovering from an injury, will come
at a later date.)
nine birds of cohort one train together in a group with the trike
for the first time at Ground School in Maryland. They got along
for the 2009 ultralight flock began hatching at Maryland's
Chicks start training with the trike (without its wing) when they
are just a few days old.