DAR #23-10 rests in the grass.
Photo Jennifer Davis, ICF
Meet the Class of 2010 Whooping Crane Chicks!
Hatch-year 2010 of the Eastern Flock

Crane # 23-10 DAR

Date Hatched

June 10, 2010



Egg Source

Leg Bands

(Attached before first migration)

Left Leg Right Leg
radio transmitter

  • Read more about the raising and naming of the DAR chicks.
    *Scroll to bottom for most recent history.*

Personality as a Chick
"Ricotta" was this chick's baby name after hatching at ICF. She was fifth in the group to fly; her fledge date was August 31.

She is very smart, and sometimes slightly tricksy: she'll do anything to get treats without having to do the work for them. She'll even steal other birds' finds. She is a very good flier, reports Jen.

The 11 DAR (Direct Autumn Release) Whooping Crane chicks were released October 25
on the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). The young cranes learn the migration route from following older cranes. Biologists from ICF and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service are tracking the released DAR cranes using radio telemetry, picking up radio signals emitted from leg transmitters on the birds.

By Nov. 6 the large group of nine DAR birds had been settling into a routine and feeding in cornfields just south of the refuge during the day, reported Eva. They are usually with older birds #506, #906 and 38-09 (DAR) and return to the refuge in the evening.

As they begin the migration south trackers will be monitoring the birds’ movements. Watch for news below!

Migration History

Fall 2010, First Migration: Began migration November 23, following older Whooping cranes who know the route. In fact, DAR chicks 20, 23, 24, 26, and 28-10 all stayed together and were led by experienced adults (#6-05 and yearlings #6-09 and #38-09). This large group of eight spent some time in Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge before once again escaping the cold snows of Indiana and moving along.

WCEP trackers recorded the five DAR chicks and the three older whoopers in Hamilton County, TN when they roosted there on December 10th. On December 13th the group of eight cranes left this location. The three older birds later returned, but no further reports came for the five DAR juveniles until December 30, 1010, when hunters found DAR chicks 20-10, 24-10 and 28-10 dead under suspicious circumstances near Albany, Georgia. The deaths are being investigated by legal and wildlife officials. After the deaths, two Whooping cranes, presumed to be #23-10 DAR and #26-10 DAR, were sighted in fields adjacent to where their three flock mates were killed but moved on to Calhoun County, Georgia. The two were last detected there on January 22, 2011.

Spring 2011: Crane 23-10 (with #26-10) departed their wintering location in Georgia sometime between March 8 and March 24 or 28. As of April 27 they were believed to be still in southern Indiana, on spring migration. The two apparently continued migration from Scott County, IN on April 30. On May 2, Eva reported, "Today I heard #23-10 and 26-10 on refuge! They may have arrived yesterday, but we don't know for sure." Hooray!

Fall 2011: DAR #23-10 (with #26-10) wintered at an unknown location. They were last detected headed south from southern Tennessee in December.

Spring 2012: DAR #23-10 and DAR #26-10 were reported in Jackson County, Indiana in early March after wintering at an unknown location. They completed migration to Wisconsin on March 27, where they then split. Female #23-10 began associating with DAR male #21-10 by early June.

Fall 2012: DAR #23-10, still with male #21-10, migrated with him to his wintering location at the Hiwassee WR in Tennessee. When he died during the winter, she began associating with DAR male #37-07 (the flock's Michigan bird).

Spring 2013: Female #23-10 DAR began migration on March 12 from Hiwassee WR in Tennessee with male #37-07 but she split from him during spring migration and he went back to Michigan. By the end of April she was in Wisconsin with male #38-09 DAR (who also recently split with his previous mate). Later she was with male #8-10, but that didn't last.

Fall 2013: Female #23-10 DAR was with male #8-10 in the fall and early winter. She was last detected in Greene County, Indiana, on 31 December 31. Meanwhile, #8-10 showed up at the St. Marks pen in Florida without her, and trackers have had no further information on her location.

Spring 2014: Female #23-10 DAR has reappeared! She was confirmed back on Necedah NWR April 4, together once again with male #8-10 on his territory.

Fall 2014: Female #23-10 DAR began migration from the Necedah area the week of Nov. 10-26. She wintered with her new mate (?) #4-08 and also with male crane #6-09 in Greene County, Indiana. The pair made a short trip (less than two weeks) to Wheeler NWR, Alabama, in early January.

Spring 2015: Migrated back to Necedah NWR.

Fall 2015: Female #23-10 migrated south in November to Greene County, Indiana, where she was now associating with male #18-09 and several other whoopers.

Spring 2016: Female #23-10 DAR returned to Juneau County, Wisconsin, with male #18-09. Their first nest failed but they were observed on a renest May 6. Their new chick, W20-16, hatched on June 5 but did not survive into the summer.

Fall 2016: Female #23-10 DAR migrated to Indiana and spent the winter in Greene County with several other Whooping Cranes.

Spring 2017: Female #23-10 DAR returned to Juneau County, Wisconsin. She is now with parent-reared male PR #24-13.

Last updated: 6/9/17


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