Meet the Whooping Crane Class of 2015
Hatch-year 2015 of the Eastern Flock
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W18 and parent on June 8, 2015
Bev Paulan, Wisconsin DNR

Crane # W18-15
Date Hatched ~June 2, 2015
Gender Unknown
Crane #W18-15 was too elusive to be banded before her first southward migration. Still unbanded as of July 5, 2016.
Left Leg Right Leg


Personality and Training:

Chick #W18-15 hatched in the wild in Juneau County, Wisconsin to parents #9-03 and #3-04. The family will migrate together, with the parents teaching #W18 the migration route.

W18-15 was still with its parents as they alternated between their summer territory at Necedah NWR and their first staging area farther south in Juneau Co. ICF staff have been working to capture and band this chick, but this family group was too elusive for the chick banding to take place.

W18 with parents on August 24, 2015
W-18 on August 24, 2015
Jana Lood

Fall 2015: Young W18-15 and her parents were spotted November 10 in a private wetland area in Wayne County, southern Illinois. A knowledgeable observer noted that if this year is like last year, the family may remain in the area as long as weather is milder and commute between there and Wheeler NWR in Alabama when winter weather becomes severe. Ths photo shows the family on their southern Illinois wintering grounds.

The family has also been seen at Wheeler NWR Alabama as the very mild winter in Illinois deteriorated to cold and snowy.


W18-15 and her parents on their northern Illinois wintering grounds
W-18 on wintering grounds
Leroy Harrison
This photo shows the family in flight in January, 2016, back again in Wayne County, Illinois.
W18-15 in flight with parents in January 2016
W-18's family in flight
Leroy Harrison

Spring 2016: On March 7 two knowledgeable observers sent news that W18-15 and parents were back in Richland Co, Illinois, saying "The journey north is definitely underway!" W18-15 was still with the parents (#9-03 and #3-04) in Wayne Co, IL as of March 21 but W18-15 successfully returned to Monroe County, WI, separated from the parents, and was hanging out with adult male #16-04 in Monroe County.

Fall 2016: W18-15 was associating with adult male #16-04 on Necedah NWR but in mid-September an unbanded crane presumed to be W18-15 was seen with its parents (39-03 and 33-04) in Juneau County. W18-15 went back to Necedah NWR the end of October and was again seen with male 16-04. W18-15 and male 16-04 were still in Juneau County, WI as of Nov. 25 but migrated in December to Knox County, Indiana with male 16-04.


Spring 2017: W18_15 and male 16-04 returned to Wisconsin and were seen at Necedah NWR by the end of March.  
Last Updated: 4/03/2017