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

Crane # 10-10

Date Hatched

May 16, 2010



Egg Source

Calgary Zoo, Canada

Leg Bands

(Attached after reaching Florida)

Left Leg Right Leg
  VHF radio

Temporary/migration band: white 10

  • 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

Before she was born: Chick #10-10 had already traveled many miles before hatching. A man named Dwight is the flock manager for the captive Whooping cranes at Calgary Zoo in Canada. He and other crane experts get the eggs of those cranes delivered to important Whooping crane projects. In spring 2010 Dwight carefully packed some fresh crane eggs in a portable incubator long before you were even awake. Then he spent hours getting them warmly and safely through airport security, customs officials, and traffic. He brought the eggs all the way from Calgary, Canada to Maryland, USA. The eggs were tucked into the incubator at Patuxent WRC. Those eggs hatched into chicks #2-10 and #4-10. They were later joined by #10-10 and #12-10, also from Calgary.

-Jane Chandler, Patuxent WRC

A Nickname!The team calls her Zoey “Flower Child” Woodstock. Why?
• "Flower Child" is fromTrish, who says says #10-10 has been crazy about flowers—especially purple clover—ever since first seeing them. She gobbled them down whole. When she was tiny you could sometimes see the bulge travel down her neck as she swallowed!
•"Woodstock" is from Brooke, who says because #10-10 is always so spacey and running around after flowers. "Before I would bring her out to train, I’d walk around and pick all the flowers so I could get her to follow.”
• Zoey is from Geoff, who likes a character named Zoey in one of his video games. "She always seems to be on her own little planet," said Geoff. She loved to snap at clovers and dandelions at Patuxent WRC where she was hatched.

And that's the story of how she got her full name: Zoey “Flower Child” Woodstock.
Photo: Operation Migration

Notes from "Flight School" at Necedah NWR in Wisconsin:
Chick #10-10 left the "hatchery" and "Ground School" in Maryland and arrived by airplane at Necedah NWR in Wisconsin on July 9 with other cohort 2 chicks. (what was her age on that day?) This group will live at "Canfield site" until the two cohorts join together when they are a bit older. She had a clean bill of health and was ready for the next big step in her life. At the pen, she took off in her own direction to explore and gobble up bugs, tiny frogs, and even small rocks. From the blind (hiding spot), Geoff even saw her and 15-10 playing in one of the water pans. "From the way they were dipping their feet and sipping up the water, I think it’s the start of a beautiful friendship," said Geoff. He felt that #10-10 had been lonely since her first and best buddies at Ground School at Maryland's Patuxent WRC were not with her anymore. (Chick 11-10 was held back in Maryland to get better after being sick, and #14-10 died after his leg was broken.)

After she could fly, she liked to land in the marsh instead of on the grass. She knows where cranes belong!

"It’s not uncommon to see her wander off from the rest of the group," Geoff reminds us. "Even when the dry pen was flooded, and we let the birds out on the runway to rest on dry ground, she’d spend most of her time wandering through the marsh. But she does like flying; she often comes out before everyone else. However, I think she still misses #12 and #14, since they were her old socializing buddies from Patuxent. When she arrived at Necedah, she didn’t seem very interested in what #15 and #17 were doing." Everyone was glad when she seemed to feel better after her buddy #11-10 arrived in Wisconsin.

On September 14 when the costumed handlers were releasing the older birds in Cohort One to fly with the ultralight plane, #10-10 and #17-10 watched from inside the pen, eager for their turn. Somehow they managed to slip past the fence and the handlers — and took off flying with the older birds! AND they flew the entire 25 minutes of the training flight!

October 8: Either on take-off, or landing today, #10-10 hurt her leg. Joe drove her to the doctor at ICF where Dr. Barry Hartup suited up and examined her leg. She's just fine, but does have a bad abrasion. She was very calm and already starting to put weight on the foot. This take-off was meant to be the migration departure, but when they met with headwinds aloft, the pilots decided it would be too tough to lead the youngs birds the whole 23 miles to stopover #1. It became a training flight instead.

First Migration South, Led by Ultralight Airplane: Chick #10-10 left Necedah NWR on her first migration on October 10, 2010. Find day-by-day news about the flock's migration and read more about #10-10 below.

October 10, 2010: What a champ! Brave #10-10, who badly bruised her leg two days ago, was a trooper today. She and 3 others didn't want to take off with Richard on Migration day 1. But the Swamp Monster was called into action, and #10 DID follow Brooke as he began leading her south to the first stop, 23 miles away. But she was having difficulties getting any altitude, and eventually she landed in a marsh. Brooke noted the coordinates and passed them along to Trish so that the ground crew could retrieve #10 and transport her the remaining 12 miles by crate. "Zoey" was happy to see her rescuers, who tramped down the tough grass (like a real mama crane would do) so she had a better path to walkto her crate. Soon she joined her flockmates again, Day 1 complete.

Day 8 (October 17): #10-10 dropped out shortly into today's flight. She was found in the woods near the pen. She must have dropped out unnoticed and made her way back. She likely saw the dismantling of the pen and decided to hide. She and #2-10 were the two birds crated today and moved to the new site by road.

Days 9 and 10 (October 18, 19): Walt said: "Usually the birds don’t like being boxed and stay with the flock on the next flight. I am happy to say that was the case on these next two legs of the journey for #10, and she has her place back in line as we head on south."

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 #10-10's next flight will complete her first migration!

Day 67, Dec. 15: Migration Complete!

Photo Operation Migration
(Click for story)

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!

One evening, a flock of juvenile ibis flew in and landed on the pond's oyster-shell bar with the cranes. Young female #10-10 tried to entice the other species to join her in dancing. "As much as she would leap and pirouette, they would just walk away. Poor little chick did look frustrated," said Bev, who was visiting Brooke and helping with the cranes.

Spring 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 flight and then returning to the
pen to strut on the oyster bar and forage. Before long it appeared their 'practice runs'
were over. Calling loudly and full of purpose, females #5-10, #6-10, and #10-10
launched one last time — on their way home! Crane 10-10 made it back to Wisconsin and was seen there the end of May, but then she seemed to vanish. Trackers were happy to report that she was located during an aerial survey in Dodge County, WI on July 7 and was also reported in this area the following day.

Fall 2011: She successfully migrated and was reported in Lake County, Florida with the very young female #2-11, who escaped" her ultralight-led cohort early in her first southward migration.

Spring 2012: Female #10-10 remained with young #2-11 and Sandhill cranes in Lake County, Florida, until beginning spring migration on February 13. She was reported back in Dodge County, Wisconsin, on March 18.

Fall 2012: Female #10-10 spent from July through late September in southern Dodge County, Wisconsin before fall migration. Tracker Eva Syszkoski reports that her wintering location was unknown.

Female 10-10 in Dodge County, WI
Photo: Lee Buescher

Spring 2013: Female #10-10 completed migration to Dodge County, Wisconsin on April 3, 2013.

Female 10-10 with two Sandhill cranes in Dodge County, WI
Photo: Lee Buescher

Fall 2013: Female #10-10 was photographed (below) Nov. 16 in Wisconsin. Observer/photographer Bill Gausmann reports that was her last day in the area. On Nov. 17 she took advantage of the north wind and headed south. She was seen in Jasper County, Indiana, November 21. Where will she spend winter? See the next photo to find out!

Crane #10-10 with sandhill cranes in Wisconson in November, 2013 before migration
Photo: Bill Gausman

Crane #10-10 returned to Hiwassee WR in Tennessee again. This photo of her was taken by Doug McCoy during his visit to Hiwassee on January 25, 2014:

Crane #10-10 at HiwasseePhoto: Doug McCoy

Spring 2014: Crane #10-10 began migration from the Hiwassee WR in Tennessee between February 16 and 21. She was next reported in Jackson County, Indiana, on February 22, where she began associating with male #41-09. They continued migration on March 21 and female #10-10 was found on Necedah NWR March 28 with a bird that had a nonfunctional transmitter (probably 41-09 DAR).

Fall 2014: Crane #10-10 began migration Oct. 25 from Wood County, WI. with #41-09 DAR, but their wintering location was unknown.

Spring 2015: Crane #10-10 returned to Necedah NWR and nested with male #41-09 DAR by early May but no news came to indicate nesting success.

Spring 2016: Crane #10-10 returned to Necedah NWR with male #41-09 DAR and the pair nested but there were no chicks for them this summer.

Fall 2016: Crane #10-10 and her mate #41-09 DAR were still in Juneau County, WI as of Nov. 13. In December they migrated to Jackson Co, IN

Spring 2017: Pair #10-10 and #41-09 DAR returned to Necedah NWR and the pair were seen nesting by early April. Eggs from their first nest were collected in the Forced Renesting Study, but the pair did not make a second nest this season.


Last updated: 6/10/17

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