Migration Highlights
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2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Fall 2014
Target date for departure from Wisconsin September 21, 2014
Actual date of departure
October 10, 2014
Number of birds on departure date
Number of birds surviving fall migration
Date migration ends
December 11, 2014
Total days of fall migration
62 days
(See •* below)
Total miles flown
582 miles flown and 517 trucked
Days on Wintering Grounds
90 days to first departure
Number of birds before spring migration
Number of birds surviving spring 2015 migration


  • *It took 36 days to cover the first 52 miles (due to bitter cold and all the failed attempts to get the birds to follow in the northern half of the migration. It took just 26 days to cover the 530 miles of the southern half of the migration from Tennessee to St Marks NWR in Florida.
  • Instead of following the aircraft from Stop #1 to Stop #2, the young cranes turned back to their training ground pen site. This turnback was the first time this happened since the aircraft-led migrations began in 2001.
  • Another first-and-never-before: On November 14 (Day 36), the migration progressed from 52 miles to 569 miles when all seven cranes were boxed and transported to Tennessee by road. The migration had been delayed so long by un-flyable weather from their Wisconsin stopover that they took this step in hopes of more flyable weather in Tennessee.
  • The first time all seven birds successfully completed a flight all together didn't happen until the flight to Lowndes County, Alabama, on Dec 2nd.
  • A predator killed chick #2-14 in February, leaving six in the class of 2014.
  • One juvenile (#7-14) began spring migration before the others, departing with two older cranes to lead the way, on March 11, 2015 and completing migration before the end of March.
  • The remaining six juveniles began spring migration April 3, departing with an older crane who would be able to lead them through the unfamiliar distance when they were trucked between Wisconsin and Tennessee—about half of the migration route.