Meet the Whooping Crane Class of 2015
Hatch-year 2015 of the Eastern Flock
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Crane 62-15 DAR
International Crane Foundation

Crane # 62-15 DAR (Flambeau)
Date Hatched June 26, 2015
Gender Male
Left Leg Right Leg


Personality and Training:

Flambeau (WCEP 62-15) was the second to hatch, joining Mendota in the hatcher on June 26. At first, Mendota and Flambeau did not get along at all. A few months later, the pair became inseparable. Now, Flambeau is the biggest chick of the cohort. He surpassed Mendota very early on and his size asserts his position at the top of the flock!

He was banded October 21. On November 3 the DAR colts were not put back in the pen and were allowed to come and go as they pleased. This was their release to freedom and wildness. They soon were flying and hanging out with sandhills and one adult whooper, #18-11. Now we just need them to stay with the adult and migrate!

#62 enjoying corn before migration
Fall 2015: On Dec 19, Crane #62-15 DAR, (with DAR flock mates 61-15, 63-15, and 67-15) departed from Horicon NWR without following adult Whooping Cranes or sandhills and headed south. They stayed in McHenry County, Illinois for 10 days, then continued south and eventually southwest to the border of Randolph Couty, Illinois and Sainte Genevieve County, Missouri.

Spring 2016: As of March 31, cranes 61-15, 62-15, 63-15, and 67-15 were still located together in Randolph Co, IL. but since then this foursome moved east and then north into Saginaw County, Michigan, followed next by a move to St. Claire, County, MI. In mid April, Operation Migration's Joe Duff and Heather Ray, en route from homes in Ontario to Wisconsin, stopped to check on the four DAR cranes. Then in Genesee County, Michigan, the cranes looked healthy and were gobbling waste corn from a field. We hope that these four will retrace their flight, and get on the west side of Lake Michigan and back to the core reintroduction area with the rest of the flock.


The four wayward DAR cranes did indeed arrive home in Marquette County, Wisconsin, the first week in May—but they had to be captured and transported back from Michigan on May 5. Since then, telemetry data indicated they moved southeast to Dodge County, where they were released last fall. Welcome home! But wait! On May 27 the wandering foursome of DAR kids was back at their wintering location in Randolph County, Illinois, where they remained. DAR cranes in Michigan before their capture  and transport in May
Fall 2016: DAR cranes 62-15(F), 61-15(M), 63-15(M), and 67-15(F) remained at their wintering grounds in Randolph Co, IL, where they also spent the summer (after a brief spring return to Wisconsin). On December 18, notification of the death of #62-o15 was received from Crab Orchard NWR in southwest Ilinois. From the location of the carcass, a powerline strike was suspected.


Last Updated: 12/19/2016