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Eastern Flock Chicks: Hatch Year 2014
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Group 1

Learn to migrate
by following ultralight airplanes

Group 1 chicks
are captive-born.

Crane chick #2-14
Crane #2-14
(Died 3/15/2015)

Crane chick #3-14
Crane #3-14
Crane chick #4-14
Crane #4-14

Crane chick #8-14
Crane #8-14

Crane chick #5-12
Crane #10-14

Above Photos: Operation Migration
Group 2 Direct Autumn Release (DAR)

Learn to migrate
by following older cranes in the flock

Group 2 chicks are also captive-born. In fall the chicks are released on Horicon National Wildlife Refuge in the company of older cranes from whom the young birds learn the migration route in a program called Direct Autumn Release (DAR).

*This year's four DAR chicks were released into the non-migratory Whooping Crane population at the White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area in southwest Louisiana instead of the eastern migratory population (WCEP population) in Wisconsin.*

Group 3 Wild Hatched

Learn to migrate by following their parents

Group 3 chicks are wild-born. Their parents raise them and teach them to migrate. This is the natural way cranes learn to migrate. One day, this flock will be large enough for wild-born parents to take over. Then human-assisted migration will no longer be needed.

A total of 13 chicks hatched to wild pairs in Wisconsin this summer. Only W3-14 survived to fledge and complete fall migration.

Wild-hatched crane chick W3-14 and parents in Wisconsin in July
Group 4 Parent Reared

Learn to migrate by following their "adopted" parents

Group 4 chicks are captive-born and each one released near a wild crane pair without chicks, in hopes the pair will adopt the chick and lead it on migration. This is the second year for this part of the Whooping Crane reintroduction program. Five parent-reared birds are scheduled for release in Wisconsin before fall migration 2014.

19-14 (Female): white (PTT); red/green, was released near adult pair.#9-05 and #13-03 on 23 September. She remained with the pair through at least 25 September but was not located with the adults by the evening of 26 September. Instead, she successfully migrated with adult pair #7-07 and #39-07 to their winter territory in Georgia. The new family arrived November 23, 2014.
20-14 (Female): red/green; white/green (PTT). She was released near adult pair #10-03 and #34-09 on 22 September. She stayed with them several days but later joined pair #9-05 and #13-03 and migrated with them to Green County, Indiana. She was in Jackson County, Alabama, presumably still with pair #9-05 and #13-03, at least through all of February 2015.
21-14 (Female): white/red (PTT); red/green. S/he was released near an adult pair Sept. 22 but wandered and could not be located during an aerial survey on 30 September. Location unknown as of Oct. 3. Found dead Oct. 8.
27-14 (Female): red/green; green/white (PTT) Released near adult pair #25-09 and #2-04 on September 22 and migrated with them in November to Hopkins County, Kentucky.

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