Crane #10-11 was just lying down one day, minding his own business, when #1-11 poked him in the back with his beak and he didn't fight back, so he's staying mellow.
from "Flight School" at White River Marsh in Wisconsin:
By the end of August, all the birds finally took off with the ultralight. Some of them usually turn back, but #10 is proudly proving himself to be a good flier and follower. He became one of five birds the pilots could count on to always be good fliers during training.
Then what happened? Crane #10 slacked off the first days in September. It seemed he would rather hang out with his costumed "daddies" than work out and follow an ultralight. That means the group of five top fliers went down to four — and the pilots hope #10 gets back with the program soon!
Migration departure week: Geoff sums up crane #10:
"I almost wonder if #10 and #5 were twin brothers separated from
birth! Because #10 is every bit as friendly to the costume as #5 is.
count on him welcoming me to the pen with open arms when I do checks.
they both steal grapes. However, I will say that #10 puts more
effort into flying than #5 does.
First Migration South, Led by Ultralight Airplane:
Crane #10-11 did not make it to the first stopover on Day 1 or Day 2. Instead, he (and all 4 other males in the class of 2011) had to be crated and driven to Stopover #1 after they again failed to fly with the ultralight plane on Day 3. Find day-by-day news about the flock's migration and read more about #10-11 below.
Crane #10, like cranes #4 and #12, gets his deworming medicine inside a grape, sinceshe wont' touch a smelt with a 10-foot pole. (Cranes usually love to eat smelt, a tasty small fish, in which the team puts de-worming medicine so the cranes will swallow their meds.)
October 22, Day 14: Crane #10 was one of only four birds to fly the distance to Stopover #2. He flew the 14 miles alone with Joe's ultralight.
Oct. 28, Day 20: Crane #10 flew the distance despite challenging events today. He had an unexpected stop when Richard landed with his five birds rather than risk losing #6 as it spooked and staring dropping out. After a rest (and crating of #6 by trackers), Richard and cranes 1, 4, 9 and 10 took off and finished the flight. They flew the remaining 20 miles in a headwind, which took almost an hour. Way to go!
Oct. 29, Day 21: A GREAT day! Crane #10—and all nine other birds in the Class of 2011—flew the distance today! It's the first day of the migration for the whole group to go the whole way. (The class is down to nine because missing crane #2-11 turned up with abig flock of wild sandhills.)
Nov. 20, Day 43: After 15 down days, the birds and trikes finally got to fly again! Crane #10 blasted out of the pen and flew the 59 miles to Piatt County, IL.
January 15, 2011, Day 77: After more than a month of stand-down at Frankin County, Alabama, today the migration started up again. But #10 wasn't interested: He was the only one who didn't take off with the others. He finally got airborne on the pilot's second pass by the pen but he soon broke away and dropped out along with a few others. He appeared i flight with the ultralight again later when Joe was flying back to the pen with #10 after rescuing her the second time today. He didn't fly with them long, and had to be ltracked, crated and driven back to the pen.
February 4, 2012: The nine cranes in the ultralight-led Class of 2011 became the first to finish their migration in a road vehicle. They were crated at the travel pen in Winston County, Alabama and driven to Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge to finish the winter and learn to be independent. Banding took place on February 8. Brooke will watch over them as they slowly become wild and free. Check this bio page for further news in the life of of crane #10-11!
Spring 2012: First Unaided Migration North:
Fall 2012: Crane 10-11 migrated and spent the winter in Colbert County, Alabama.
Spring 2013: Completed migration to Wisconsin on March 29 with #7 and #12 from his 2011 cohort.
Spring 2014: Male #10-11 was observed on territory with female #12-11 in mid-April— but on April 24 he was foraging only 500 feet south of where female #7-11 was seen sitting on what appeared to be a nest. Tracker Eva Szyszkoski photographed the nest, which was still active as of April 30, so it appears that male #10-11 and female 7-11 are now a pair! The pair is only three years old, so if the nest survives and they fledge chicks, it will be a great sign, noted Joe Duff. However, on May 19 we learned that the pair had been spotted together away from the nest, and seeing both adults away from the nest indicates a nest failure. ICF's tracker Eva and Operation Migration's Caleb checked the nest and Eva noted it had been constructed almost entirely with sticks as opposed to the grasses usually used by Whoopers. She was also able to tell that the one egg they found had been viable. It’s great that the pair are producing viable eggs, but just as unfortunate that this viable egg didn’t make it. Still, there's hope for more from this young pair!
Fall 2014: Pair #7-11 and #10-11 moved to Dane County, WI, on 2 September from their breeding territory in Marquette County. They began migration Nov. 16 or 17.
Last updated: 1/26/15
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