Meet the Class of 2010 Whooping Crane Chicks!
Hatch-year 2010 of the Eastern Flock

Crane # 8-10

Date Hatched

May 13, 2010



Egg Source

Patuxent Wildlife Research Center

Leg Bands

(Attached after reaching Florida)

Left Leg Right Leg
  VHF radio

Temporary/migration band: light blue 8

  • Read about the naming system, hatch place in Maryland, release site in Wisconsin, over-wintering site in Florida, and leg-band codes.

Personality, Early Training
Notes from the captive breeding "hatchery" at Patuxent WRC in Maryland:

Chick #8-10 seemed to be the boss in the little group of #6 and #9. He was not afraid to act tough even with the bigger birds if he thought he could get away with it.

Before he was born: During a severe storm at Patuxent WRC in May, a limb blew off a tree landed on the nest a Sandhill Crane that was incubating two Whooping crane eggs. One of those eggs contained the chick that would become #8-10. The crane had jumped away as the branch fell, but she knocked one of the eggs out of her nest. The egg rolled away from the nest and wasn't found by a worker until the next morning. the egg was cold and the sandhill crane pair was in great distress over it. It was a miraculously that the egg survived and hatched! Now it's chick #8-10.

-Jane Chandler, Patuxent WRC

Notes from "Flight School" at Necedah NWR in Wisconsin:
Arrived in Wisconsin for flight school with other Cohort #1 chicks on June 30 when he was 48 days old. These chicks will live together at the North pen until all the chicks are later joined in one large group.

He didn't mind at all when two adult Whooping cranes joined in the training session on July 8, running along with the trike and chicks and trying to keep up with them.

"I think he borrows a bit from his big and little sisters," said Geoff. "Like #6-10, he’s very trusting of the costume and is one of the three greeters of Cohort 1. He comes in and out of the pen eagerly. He is perfectly happy to follow the ultralight, since the costumes have never led him astray and he trusts them. But I must add that he sort of needs assurance from the costume before he tries anything new. He will get slightly anxious every now and then if left alone in a strange place with strange birds (but not as anxious as #9-10). When I was socializing him, he’d almost always lay down next to the shed after he saw the costume go inside it. But as long as he knows something’s safe (whether from watching the costume or from experience), and the costume is near, he’ll get over any doubts and do whatever we’re training him to do — again and again, without a second thought."

Crane #8, along with #1, #2, and #3, has always been high on the pecking order. He's a good flier and folower, too. He's a very dependable bird.


First Migration South, Led by Ultralight Airplane: Chick #8-10 left Necedah NWR on his first migration on October 10, 2010. Always dependable, he was one of seven in the Class of 2010 to take off with Richard's ultralight and one of only four to go the whole 23-mile distance on Day 1. Find day-by-day news about the flock's migration. If you don't see more about #8-10 below, it means he flew every day without mishap or mischief!

Day 62, Dec. 10:After today's final flight with the Class of 2010 in one large group, he was put into the pen with the four other birds headed to a winter home at St. Marks NWR. Crane #8-10's next flight (Dec. 15) will complete his 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!

Spring 2011, First Unassisted Migration: On March 21, males #8-10 and #1-10 departed on migration along with the two older birds ( #925 and 929) that had been staying at the pen site for much of the winter. Only #929 remained with them throughout migration. Data from their GPS transmitters indicated that they made it to Macon County, Alabama, nearly 200 miles to the north and right on course. GPS data from #1-10 indicates that on the night of March 24th, he had made it to Jackson County, AL and then next in Barren County, Kentucky; Cook County, IL; and Juneau County, WI. Cranes #1-10, #8-10 and #929 completed their journey north by the night of April 7. The three birds then moved to Wood County, WI. Crane #8-10 and #1-10 wandered after they returned. They were near Zumbrota (Goodhue County, Minnesota) through at least May 17. PTT readings indicated a roost location on the southern pools of Necedah NWR on the night of May 19. By the night of May 21 they had returned to Minnesota, this time west of Dennison (Rice County). Cranes #8 and #10 remained there several weeks but were back on Necedah NWR by June 26.

Fall 2011: Crane #8-10 was last detected with 6-10, 19-10 (DAR) and 25-10 (DAR) in Adams County, Wisconsin, on November 13. He was found with them on migration. He wintered in Madison County, Florida.

Spring 2012: Crane #8-10 landed in the Whooping Crane Exhibit at the International Crane Foundation (Baraboo, Wisconin) on april first and hung out with the captive cranes named Omega and Seurat. ICF workers chased #8-10 away! In late April he joined widowed female 37-09 (DAR) on the old territory she had shared with her previous mate on Necedah NWR.

Fall 2012: He migrated south with female 37-09 (DAR) in November and wintered in Greene County, Indiana.

Spring 2013: Male #8-10 was confirmed back on Necedah March 31 but likely arrived on or by March 30, with his mate, female 37-09 (DAR), who was found dead on their summer territory in Juneau County, Wisconsin; her remains were collected on May 12, 2013. He spent the summer with two of only six wild-hatched chicks in the project's long history that managed to suvive the black flies, predators, hunters, inexperienced parents and other dangers, only to die during the autumn. Then he took up with female #23-10, but was not with her when he showed up for winter in Florida (below).

Fall 2013: Male #8-10 migrated to Florida, where he was very likely the single bird reported in Jefferson County, Florida on January 26. He then continued south and unexpectedly showed up at the St. Marks pen site on January 30. "This male was one of only 7 ultralight birds to come to Florida this winter in a WCEP population that lost 16 cranes in the last few months," noted Brooke upon seeing this young crane once again. The bird tried to land with the chicks again in March, but was driven off from the pen area by #4-12. "Time and time again he had attempted to cross the mote, scale the pen walls and join the kingdom of the chicks, only to be thwarted again and again by the aggressive rage of that ruling despot," wrote Brooke.

Crane #8-10 after showing up at the St. Marks pen site in February, 2014.

Spring 2014: Crane #8-10 must have given up on Florida, because ICF tracker Eva Syszkoski confirmed him in Indiana on March 12. His spring migration is underway and on April 4 he was confirmed back on territory near the Necedah NWR, reunited with female #23-10 (DAR).

Fall 2014: Crane #8-10 began migration Nov. 1 from Necedah and wintered in Greene County, Indiana with pair #23-10 DAR and #6-09.

Spring 2015: Returned to Necedah NWR/Juneau County, Wisconsin.

Fall 2015: Migrated from Necedah NWR/Juneau County to winter territory in Greene County, Indiana

Spring 2016: Male #8-10 was observed with female #32-09 (DAR) back on territory at Necedah NWR on March 30 by Wisconsin DNR pilot Bev Paulan.

Fall 2016: Last seen in Wood County, WI on September 27. Migration/wintering location unknown.

Spring 2017: Male #8-10 still has not been seen.


Last updated: 6/5/17

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