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Adult whooping crane pair and young at Necedah National Wildlife Refuge.

Whooping crane pair and chick, 2006, at Necedah National Wildlife Refuge.

Photo courtesy of Jill Utrup; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

 


Individual information for each whooping crane in the eastern flock.

Revised April 27, 2017

 

In the PDF document, click on the hatch year to view more information about the individual whooping crane.

 

August 1, 2017: Project Update

Below is the most recent update for the Eastern Migratory Population of Whooping Cranes. In the last month, we have been monitoring wild-hatched chicks, and most adults have stayed in their summer locations. One of the wild-hatched chicks has fledged and another is close to fledging.

 

Population Estimate

The current maximum population size is 95 (43 F, 50 M, 2 U). This does not include 2017 wild-hatched chicks. As of 1 August, at least 85 Whooping Cranes have been confirmed in Wisconsin, 1 in South Dakota, 2 in North Dakota, 1 in Michigan, and 1 in Kentucky. The remaining birds’ locations have not been reported during July.

 

Continue Project Update »

 


 

 

July 1, 2017: Project Update

In the last month, nesting season has come to an end.

 

Population Estimate

The current maximum population size is 97 (44 F, 51 M, 2 U). This does not include 2017 wild-hatched chicks. As of 1 July, at least 84 Whooping Cranes have been confirmed in Wisconsin, 1 in Minnesota, 2 in North Dakota, 1 in Michigan, and 1 in Kentucky. The remaining birds’ locations have not been reported during June. See maps below.

 

Reproduction

This year, there were 37 confirmed nests by 26 pairs in Juneau, Adams, Marathon, St. Croix, and Green Lake counties, Wisconsin. Eighteen chicks have hatched from four first nests and ten re-nests. Six wild-hatched chicks are still alive as of 1 July.

 

Continue Project Update »

 


 

News Release: Breeding season produces history-making wild chicks

June 20, 2017

 

MADISON, Wis. - A history-making breeding season is winding down for whooping cranes in the Eastern Migratory Population that summers in Wisconsin, yielding a dozen fuzzy, cinnamon-colored chicks that are the latest and most hopeful signs yet for efforts to build a self-sustaining flock of whoopers in eastern North America.  

 

One of the chicks is a second-generation wild bird; the offspring of the first wild cranes hatched in Wisconsin following the start of the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership restoration project in 2001. The project aims to establish a second migratory flock in North America to be a backstop to the other migratory population of whooping cranes that nests in Canada’s Wood Buffalo National Park and winters on the Texas Coast. 

 

Continue News Release »

 


 

 

June 1, 2017 Project Update

Here is the most recent update for the Eastern Migratory Population of Whooping Cranes. In the last month, wild chicks have started to hatch!

 

Population Estimate

The current maximum population size is 97 (44 F, 51 M, 2 U). This does not include 2017 wild-hatched chicks. As of 1 June, at least 84 Whooping Cranes have been confirmed in Wisconsin, 2 in Illinois, 1 in Iowa, 2 in North Dakota, and 1 in Kentucky. The remaining birds’ locations have not been reported during May.

 

Reproduction

To date there have been 37 confirmed nests by 26 pairs in Juneau, Adams, Marathon, St. Croix, and Green Lake counties, Wisconsin. There are currently two active first nests and eight active re-nests. Six chicks have hatched from four first nests and one re-nest. Four chicks are still alive as of 1 June.

 

Continue Project Update »

 


May 1, 2017 Project Update

Here is the most recent update for the Eastern Migratory Population of Whooping Cranes. In the last month, breeding Whooping Cranes have begun nesting.

 

Population Estimate

The current maximum population size is 99 (45 F, 52 M, 2 U). As of 1 May, at least 86 Whooping Cranes have been confirmed in Wisconsin, 1 in Illinois, and 1 in Tennessee. The remaining birds’ locations have not been reported during April.

 

Reproduction

To date there have been 24 confirmed nests by 23 pairs in Juneau, Adams, Marathon, St. Croix, and Green Lake counties, Wisconsin. This year marks the first nest of a parent-reared Whooping Crane in the EMP as well as the first nest in the Eastern Rectangle. There are currently five active first nests and two active re-nests. One of these nests may have hatched 30 April, but it has yet to be confirmed. Four nests failed naturally, and eggs from 13 nests were collected as a part of the forced re-nesting experiment. Chicks hatched from these eggs will be released into the Eastern Migratory Population in the fall of 2017. We expect re-nesting by pairs whose first nests failed to begin during May.

 

Continue Project Update »

 


 

News Release: Whooping Cranes notch nesting milestones in Wisconsin

April 27, 2017

 

MADISON, Wis. - Whooping Cranes returning to Wisconsin this spring have achieved two important milestones toward establishing a self-sustaining flock of this ancient and endangered species in eastern North America.

 

A pair has nested for the first time at White River Marsh Wildlife Area, marking a welcome expansion of nesting range in Wisconsin and providing an important backstop to Necedah National Wildlife Refuge, where most of the returning cranes have nested to date.

 

And another pair of cranes nesting in Necedah claimed the crown of the first nest in Wisconsin resulting from a released ‘parent-reared’ bird, a bird reared by a parent crane in captivity, not by costumed human caretakers.

 

The “Royal Couple” is involved in another “first:” their nest is being monitored by “citizen scientists” and many other online observers on a live-streaming video camera recently set up by Operation Migration. “This is the FIRST TIME EVER that a Whooping Crane nest has been monitored by camera 24 hours a day, seven days a week!” Duff says. View the Royal Couple nesting at https://www.youtube.com/c/OperationMigration/live.

 

Read more »

 


 

April 1, 2107, Project Update

Here is the most recent update for the Eastern Migratory Population of Whooping Cranes. During February, most Whooping Cranes began migration and at least one has returned to Wisconsin.

 

Population Estimate

The current maximum population size is 99 (45 F, 52 M, 2 U). As of 1 April, most Whooping Cranes have completed migration and are in Wisconsin. However, a few have not yet migrated and are in Illinois, Indiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, Alabama, and Florida. A few breeding pairs have begun nest building and a nesting update will be in next month’s report.

 

Read more »


 

March 1, 2017, Project Update

This is the most recent update for the Eastern Migratory Population of Whooping Cranes. During February, most Whooping Cranes began migration and at least one has returned to Wisconsin.

 

Population Estimate

The current maximum population size is 101 (46 F, 53 M, 2 U). As of 1 March, Whooping Cranes have been confirmed in Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Arkansas, Tennessee, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, and Wisconsin. Many birds have begun moving north by the end of February, so the distribution is changing daily.

 

Read more »

 


 

February 1, 2017, Project Update

This is the most recent update for the Eastern Migratory Population of Whooping Cranes. During January, most Whooping Cranes stayed at their wintering areas and few moved short distances. A huge thank-you to the staff of Operation Migration, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Department of Natural Resources, the International Crane Foundation, and all of the volunteers who help us keep track of the cranes throughout the year. We appreciate your contribution to the recovery of the whooping crane eastern migratory population.

 

Population Estimate

The current maximum population size is 103 (47 F, 54 M, 2 U). As of 1 February, at least 30 Whooping Cranes have been confirmed in Indiana, 3 in Illinois, 7 in Kentucky, 2 in Arkansas, 10 in Tennessee, 27 in Alabama, 6 in Florida, 5 in Georgia, and 1 in Louisiana. The remaining birds’ locations have not been reported during January.

 

Read more »


 

January 1, 2017, Project Update

Below is the most recent update for the Eastern Migratory Population of Whooping Cranes. In the last month most Whooping Cranes have begun migration or reached their wintering areas. A huge thank-you to the staff of Operation Migration, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Department of Natural Resources, the International Crane Foundation, and all of the volunteers who help us keep track of the cranes throughout the year. We appreciate your contribution to the recovery of the whooping crane eastern migratory population.

 

Population Estimate

The current maximum population size is 104 (48 F, 54 M, 2 U). As of 1 January, at least 35 Whooping Cranes have been confirmed in Indiana, 3 in Illinois, 6 in Kentucky, 7 in Tennessee, 28 in Alabama, 5 in Florida, 4 in Georgia, and 1 in Louisiana. The remaining birds’ locations have not been reported during December.

 

Read more »


 

 

News, Project Updates and Feature Stories Archives