DAR #24-10 accepts a treat.
Photo Jennifer Davis, ICF
Meet the Class of 2010 Whooping Crane Chicks!
Hatch-year 2010 of the Eastern Flock

Crane # 24-10 DAR

Date Hatched

June 11, 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
"Fontina" was this chick's baby name after hatching at ICF. She was fourth in the group to fly; her fledge date was August 26.

Jen reports: One of the BEST fliers in the group, she started flying at an earlier age than any of the rest of the chicks. it's almost like she enjoys showing off by making an extra circle around the field before landing. She is not very independent, though. She always stays in a group, or as close as she can get to a costumed handler. She had a bee sting on her cheekbone in early september, and she still hasn't grown back all of her face feathers yet. We can easiily identify her that way!

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.

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 three of them dead from gunshot just west of Albany, Georgia. The three shot cranes were DAR chicks 20-10, 24-10 and 28-10.

The landowner reported the cranes had been in the area for a few weeks before they were found shot. Since the deaths, two Whooping Cranes, presumed to be the other two DAR birds of the group of five, were sighted in fields near the site of the shooting.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and others are investigating the shooting deaths of these endangered birds, and a reward is offered for information leading to arrest of the shooters. The public is asked to report any tips. Contact U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Special Agent Terry Hasting at 404-763-7959 (ext. 233).

Updates will appear here when there's further news.


Last updated: 1/10/11

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