Some chicks learn how to eat rapidly, others take awhile. Little 912 and 913, who are siblings, took at least 4 days before they started eating and drinking to the satisfaction of the costumes/trainers. Soon they became robust little birds!
of Flight School in Wisconsin:
Bev reported on August 10: The mid-aged birds at the West site are the most independent group. This is obvious during training, and in the evening. At the night roost check, we stand in the pen for several moments before they lazily wander our way. Chick 912 is always the second one (after 915) into the dry pen to see the costume before bedtime. As summer turned to fall, the birds in this middle group became a great flying team. On September 19, most of them flew for an astonishing 53 minutes! Chick 912 is just happy to be in the flock and doesn't create any problems.
Spring 2010, First Journey North: Dawdlers #912 and #906 finally left Florida’s St. Marks NWR on April 14 to start their northward migration—22 days after their eight pen-mates had departed. Matt said, "The weather was not favorable for migration. As I started tracking their flight, I found that strong east winds blew the birds far to the west. In fact, although only 40 miles due south of the Georgia border, these two would not fly into Georgia airspace. Instead, they would be blown over 50 miles west into Alabama." They settled for the night in Chilton County, Alabama, 235 miles from St. Marks NWR. The two were spotted flying over through Vermilion County, IL on the morning of April 18th. "They should be back up here soon", said Eva from the Necedah area, "but we haven't heard them yet." She was right: She picked up their signals on April 21 as they flew over the Necedah NWR! MIGRATION COMPLETE. But they didn't stay! Matt Strausser, ICF Tracking Intern, then followed the birds for another five hours. The birds crossed out of Wisconsin and into Iowa, where they landed to roost in a wetland in Allamakee County, Iowa. No checks or reports since then.
Fall 2010: The radio signals of crane 912 (12-09) and 41-09 (DAR) were detected at Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park (Florida) on December 5. Crane #924 (24-09), who has a weak transmitter, is probably still traveling with them. No further news until March 18!
Spring 2011: "We don't know where in Florida they wintered," reported tracker Eva. The evening of March 18, 2011, males #12-09, 24-09 and 41-09 (DAR) stopped in at the Chass pensite and didn't leave until 20 March. Radio signals of 12-09 and 41-09 (DAR) were detected in flight over Sauk County on March 29, and these birds likely arrived in the Necedah NWR area that day.
Fall 2011: Migrated and spent the winter in Greene County, Indiana.
Spring 2012: Male #12-0 was confirmed back at Necedah NWR in Wisconsin on the evening of March 27th. Eva had detected him in flight through Illinois the day before as she did a 2-day tracking flight to the south.
Spring 2013: Male #12-09 was confirmed back at Necedah NWR in Wisconsin Mar. 30.
Fall 2013: Male #12-09 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."
Spring 2014: Male #12-09 had not yet been confirmed at Necedah NWR by April 11 but tracker Eva Syszkoski, but she suspected he may have re-paired again with #27-10, who was detected on the refuge on April 5.
Fall 2014: Male #12-09 is wintering in Indiana with female #14-09, whose previous mate was captured and moved to captivity in Zoo New England in May 2014.
Last updated: 12/26/14
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