Personality, Early Training
Notes from the captive breeding "hatchery" at Patuxent WRC in Maryland:
At first chick 910 followed 905 like a shadow! He is also very cooperative when following the trainer and puppet back to his pen after ground school training. He must like his pen. One day when he saw his pen in the distance he started running for it! When outside, 910 likes picking apart a pile of dried grass in his ongoing search for worms. He grabs a beak full, shakes it to shreds, and then goes into the leaf pile for another beak full.
He was soon paired with 910 for socializing and soon they were spending days and nights together, doing just fine in the pond, grass and pen. These two will be part of Cohort One, the oldest and the first group of birds to be shipped to Wisconsin for flight school before migration in October.
of Flight School in Wisconsin:
October 11, 2009: Migration has not yet begun but the crane rodeo has. The team hoped to combine training with a flight to a remote part of the refuge that was closer to their fist stopover site. But the Class of 2009 ended up at three different pen sites on the refuge, and the team had to track and find some lost birds, including 910! After dropping out of the morning flight, he wasn't found until late afternoon when Richard was airborne again. His radio picked up 910's signal and quickly zoned in to his location. Richard saw #910 in a clearing in the center of a wooded area to the north and west of the pen site he'd left this morning as the pilots tried to lead the birds away. Although Richard tried to coax him into the air behind his ultralight, the bird wouldn't follow. The only solution was for the crew to come with a crate to box him up and drive him. They brought him to the old pen, where several of his classmates were foraging. The rest of the flock is at the new site in a travel pen. After a crazy day, he must be happy to be with some buddies again!
Spring 2010, First Journey North: Eight of the St. Marks juveniles left at mid-day March 24 on their first journey north! According to a PTT reading from #908, she (and probably #915, #910, #911, #914, #918, #925 and #926) reached Shelby County, Alabama— about 260 miles from the pen! Their next flight took them an additional 380 miles to Monroe County, IN, where an observer photo confirmed that they were all still together. As of March 29 they had flown another 73 miles to the Fountain County, IN, roughly 70 miles due east of the Piatt Co., IL stopover used during their ultralight-guided journey south last fall. Tracker Eva said a PTT reading for #915 on March 31 put them in Monroe County, Wisconsin. On April 1 Sara picked up their signals in the Necedah area. They successfully completed migration!" HOORAY!!!!!
Fall 2010: Crane 910 successfully migrated and was with #804 on December 23 in Levy County, Florida. They appeared the St. Mark’s NWR pensite in Wakulla County, during late afternoon on January 24 and stayed until at least January 26. They were not welcome because the newly arrived Class of 2010 chicks were there. The two had moved to Dixie County. FL by February 5.
Spring 2011: Began migration March 11 and reported back at Necedah NWR area by March 21. By March 24 he was with female #717 in Monroe County. (#717 has a nonfunctional transmitter and cannot be tracked.) They stayed at this location into April.
Fall 2011: He was seen on Nov. 5 in a corn field in Juneau County, WI with other Whooping cranes and his companion, the injured female #717. The two have sometimes returned to one of the pools on the Necedah refuge to roost, and male #910 (#10-09) seemed very protective of her. His mate recovered and the two migrated and wintered in Greene County, Indiana.
Spring 2013: Male #10-09 began spring migation with his mate #17-07 but she left him in Sauk County, Wisconsin and comlpleted migration before him. He arrived alone on March 30 at Necedah NWR.
Fall 2013: Male #10-09 was likely among seven Whooping Cranes reported in Rutherford County, Tennessee, on January 24 and in a group of seven reported in Franklin County, Tennessee, on January 29. "We assume these are the same birds," said ICF tracker Eva Szyszkoski. "Based on band reports they are likely birds 12-09, 12-03/29-09, 18-09/35-09 and 10-09/17-07, although not all have been confirmed yet."
Spring 2014: Male #10-09 was confirmed back at Necedah NWR on March 28, when he was seen with female #12-03, but he soon was paired up again with his former mate #17-07. (The two had wintered at separate locations.)
Last updated: 4/11/14
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