Meet the Class of 2013 Whooping Cranes
Hatch-year 2013 of the Eastern Flock

Back to Meet the Cranes 2013

DAR crane Latka
Photo:Int'l Crane Foundation
Latka (DAR) #59-13
Date Hatched June 13, 2013
Gender Female
Left Leg Right Leg
(VHF radio transmitter)


Personality and Training: How did she get the name Latke? ICF staff used the theme of TV sitcoms or sitcom characters when they named the new chicks. (A change in the numbering system is under discussion.) Latke is named after Latka Gravas of the old TV show "Taxi." Latka is the smallest chick, but she has a lot of spunk! She came to the DAR program as an egg from the Calgary Zoo Whooping cranes.

Latka and the other DAR chicks were costume reared and then transported to Horicon Wildlfe Refuge in early September. The chicks will now spend more time out of a pen and less time with the costume. They will be officially released probably at the end of October to mingle with other wild Whooping cranes and Sandhill cranes. If all goes as planned, the youngsters will follow the older cranes to learn the flock's southward migration route.

The DAR chicks got their legbands and colors on Sept 27. They were released at Horicon NWR on Oct 24, 2013.

Latka (#59-13) was initially detected heading south with juveniles nos. 50, 51, and 54-13 on 11 December 11, but separated from them and returned to the Horicon NWR. Since it was dangerously cold and it appeared she would fail to migrate, she was captured, held overnight at the International Crane Foundation (ICF), and transported by aircraft south to the Wheeler NWR in Alabama the next day. There she was released near other Sandhill and Whooping cranes. This intervention was necessary to give her the best chance to survive winter, although she did not learn her migration route. Latka (#59-13) apparently liked her new home at Wheeler NWR because she was still there as March began.


DAR crane Latka
Image: Intl. Crane Foundation

Dar cranes at Horicon Regufe after releaseImage: Doug Pellerin

Spring 2014:Latke (DAR no. 59-13) is home again! She was seen March 19 in Dane County, WI by ICF tracker Eva Szyszkoski. The young crane, relocated by aircraft to Wheeler NWR in Alabama when she failed to migrate south, learned her migration route for the first time this spring, led north by four older Whoopers (#6-11/15-11, 17-07 and 7-12). The group of five completed migration together. Latke is on the far right. The four older birds left Latke in Dane County and continued to Necedah NWR. What will Latke do next?

Group of five Whooping Cranes, including Latke, after completing spring migration to Wisconsin.
Image: International Crane Foundation, Eva Szyszkoski

Latke was left alone when the four older birds left her in Dane County and continued to Necedah NWR. She was photographed in Dane County, Wisconsin on March 21 (below) and last confirmed there on March 28, in the company of Sandhill Cranes, Canada geese, turkeys, deer and ducks!

Latke (#59-13) in Dane County, WI on March 21, 2014Image: Ted Thousand


Last updated: 4/14/2014

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