Chick #5-10 tends to be very stubborn and was always a little more challenging for handlers when still a wee chick. Sometimes it took handlers as much as a half hour to get #5-10 to walk onto the scale and stay there long enough to get weighed.
from "Flight School" at Necedah NWR in Wisconsin:
During the training session on June 8 she paid full attention to the ultralight plane "parent," even though two adult whooping cranes joined in the group chasing down the runway with the ultralight. Another day when it was super soggy in the pens after rain storms, she paid no attention to the adults who shoed up when she and other chicks napped on the grass runway because it was the least soggy place around.
"While she is a sweet bird", says Geoff, "I don’t think she’s one of the brightest we’ve ever had. She always seemed a little slower on the uptake than birds her age, and slower to develop. She’s still one of the last birds in or out, and is one of the first birds to drop out. She still doesn’t like to leave the runway when the ultralight takes off. But she still makes progress, whenever she finally understands what we want her to do — so we hope that will happen on a day-to-day basis."
September she was
better about following the trike. She still liked to hang back with
#5-10, or drop
off the flight a half mile away from the pen. If
they do drop out, the good news is that
they're pretty good at catching up with the group on
One time #5-10 dropped off in some clearing a half mile
away from the pen. Richard and Geoff thought they'd have a busy
morning trying to find her again, but she came back on her own as
putting the other birds back in the pen.
First Migration South, Led by Ultralight Airplane: Chick #5-10 left Necedah NWR on her first migration on October 10, 2010. She was one of seven to take off with Richard's plane. Find day-by-day news about the flock's migration and read more about #5-10 below.
Day 1, October 10: She was one of three dropouts that landed with only 2 miles left to go to reach the first stopover. Even though she finished the trip in a crate by car, she flew a great 21 miles on her first day.
Day 62, Dec. 10: After today's final flight with the Class of 2010 in one large group, she was put into the pen with the four other birds headed to a winter home at St. Marks NWR. Crane #5-10's next flight (Dec. 15) will complete her first migration!
First Winter, Release Site at St. Marks NWR: The St. Marks Five had been banded and got health checks soon after arrival. The top net was removed from their pen and they were set free to come and go on Dec. 25, 1010!
Crane#5 worries Brooke at bedtime. She would rather stay out and forage and grub than join the other four youngsters in the large penned area. Like the others, she should fly back into the safety of the pen, walk out on the oyster bar, and roost with her flock mates as night comes. Two yearling cranes (925 and 929) are like older siblings at the pen site. They are allowed to hang around with this year's youngsters. They call to #5 from inside in frustration. Sometimes the other four chicks join in too. "COME IN HERE NOW! TIME FOR BED!" It's always a huge relief when she finally flies into the pen to roost in safety.
2011, First Unassisted Migration: April 3 was the day! The winds switched
around to the south and the warm temps meant good thermals. Brooke
watched as the three remaining youngersters kept taking off on a long
and then returning to the
Tracking crew chief Eva reported that a PTT reading showed #5-10 in Dane County, Wisconsin on the night of April 13. Cranes #5 and #6 were both confirmed there on April 15. On April 29 they were back on Necedah NWR, migration complete!
Fall 2011: Wintered in North Carolina with crane #928 (#28-08).
Spring 2012: Crane #5-10 and #28-08, who wintered in North Carolina, were located by tracker Eva in Bartholomew County, Indiana on Feb. 29. She and her mate completed migration back to Necedah NWR on March 11. The pair were seen sitting on a nest platform at Necedah NWR on April 11 but tracker Eva said: "Since #5-10 is only two years old, we probably won't call this an official nest unless we see more evidence of consistent incubation, or eggs in the nest. On May 3, Eva said: "28-08/5-10 apparently have a nest in Marathon County. They were sitting during both checks on May 1 and both checks on May 2, so we are going to go ahead and assume that they have an egg." They were still incubating as of May 29. Trackers collected their single infertile egg on June 4 after the pair incubated it past full term and it didn't hatch.
Spring 2013: Crane #5-10 and #28-08 completed spring migration by April 2. By late April or early May they were reported nesting!
Last updated: 5/3/13
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