Migration Highlights
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2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Fall 2001
Target date for departure
October 13
Actual date for departure
October 17
Number of birds at takeoff
Number of birds surviving fall migration
Date migration ends
December 3, 2001
Total days of fall migration

Number of actual flight days (progress made)


Number of no-fly days (grounded or turned back)

Longest flight (in distance)
94.7 miles
Total miles flown
Days on Wintering Grounds
Number of birds before spring migration
Number of birds surviving spring migration


  • This was the world's first human-led migration of an endangered species. Birds of hatch year 2001 were the first birds in the Eastern flock of whooping cranes. They are the pioneers of a brand new flock being restored to part of the continent where they've been gone for over a century.

  • Two birds did not depart with their historic group: Crane #109 was removed from the flock before migration began and sent to a zoo. Crane #111 died from stress after the health exam just before migration.
  • Crane #103 died in an October wind storm during the ultralight-led journey south. The pen was knocked down by high winds and the escaped bird hit a power line while flying in the dark.
  • Crane #104 was killed December 17, 2001 by a bobcat after being on the Chassowitzka wintering grounds just days.

  • Crane #110 was killed by a bobcat in January 2002, just weeks after arriving in Florida.