Project Updates

2018: DecemberNovemberOctober | September | August | July | June | MayApril | March | February | January

Previous Years: 20172016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 20112010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001


Whooping Crane Update – December 1, 2018 

Below is the most recent update for the Eastern Migratory Population of Whooping Cranes. In the last month Whooping Cranes have left Wisconsin and many have reached their wintering locations. Many birds are still on the move! A huge thank-you to the staff of 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 estimated population size is 101 (45 F, 53 M, 3 U). As of 27 November, approximately 19 Whooping Cranes are in Illinois, 33 are in Indiana, 1 may still be in Michigan, 7 are in Kentucky, 5 are in Tennessee, 11 are in Alabama, and 1 is in Georgia. The remaining birds’ locations have not been confirmed in the last month or they have left Wisconsin but haven’t yet been confirmed further south. See maps below.

Wild-hatched birds

As of 27 November, five wild-hatched chicks are still alive, all of which have left Wisconsin with their parents.

W1_18 (F) is in Knox Co, IN with her parents.

W3_18 (F) is likely in Hopkins Co, KY with her parents but we have not yet confirmed IDs.

W5_18 (M) is still with his parents in Greene Co, IN.

W6_18 (M) is now with his parents in Lawrence Co, IL.

W10_18 (U) is with parents in Greene Co, IN.

2018 Releases

16_11 (M), 73_18 (F), and 74_18 (M) have left Wisconsin and are currently in Jasper Co, IN.

77_18 (M) left Wisconsin with Sandhill Cranes and is currently in Lowndes Co, GA.

2017 Wild-hatched chicks

W3_17 (F) migrated south with 11_15 (M) and is now at Wheeler NWR in Morgan Co, AL.

W7_17 (F) is still at Wheeler NWR in Morgan Co, AL.

Parent-Reared 2017 Cohort

19_17 (M) and 25_17 (M) migrated to Jackson Co, AL, where they wintered last year.

28_17 (M) left WI and is now in Jasper Co, IN.

24_17 (M) was in Greene Co, IN, but has left and is now in Lawrence Co, IL.

72_17 (M) left MI and is now in Jay Co, IN.

36_17 (F) migrated with females 2_15 and 28_05 from Wisconsin to Kentucky, where the remains of 36_17 were found on 21 November. The other two females are now in Meigs Co, TN. The cause of death is not yet known.

38_17 (F) migrated with 63-15 (M) to Randolph Co, IL.

39_17 (F) is in Jasper Co, IN and has been seen associating with other Whooping Cranes as well as Sandhill Cranes.

Costume-Reared 2017 Cohort

7_17 (F) migrated to Cumberland Co, IL, presumably with 4_14 (M).

3_17 (M) was last seen with 30_16 (M), 5_12 (M), and 67_15 (F) in Green Lake Co, WI. The group has not been seen in WI recently, but have not yet been confirmed further south.

4_17 (M) and 6_17 (F) are now in Alexander Co, IL.

1_17 (M), 2_17 (F) were in LaSalle Co, IL, with 10_15 (F) and 4_13 (M) but then left and are now in Marshall Co, KY. It appears they are still on the move.

8_17 was last seen in Sangamon Co, IL in May, and then showed up at Wheeler NWR in Morgan Co, AL, during November.

Mortality

The carcass of 36_17 (F) was collected on 21 November in Kentucky, but the cause of death is not yet known (see above).

Confirmed Whooping Crane locations as of 27 November 2018.

Whooping Crane Update – November 1, 2018 

Below is the most recent update for the Eastern Migratory Population of Whooping Cranes. In the last month migration has begun! A huge thank-you to the staff of 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 estimated population size is 102 (46 F, 53 M, 3 U). As of 1 November, around 54 Whooping Cranes are in Wisconsin, 3 in Michigan, 9 in Illinois, 13 in Indiana, 2 in Kentucky, and 1 in Alabama. The remaining birds’ locations have not been confirmed in the last month or two. See maps below.

Wild-hatched birds

As of 1 November, five wild-hatched chicks are still alive, all of which have fledged, are with their parents, and are banded.

W1_18 (F) is still in Juneau Co with her parents and is now banded.

W3_18 (F) is still with her parents in Adams Co.

W5_18 (M) has migrated and is now with parents W3_10 and 8_04 in Greene Co, IN.

W6_18 (M) is still with his parents 1-04 and 16-07, but they have left Juneau Co, WI, and have not yet been seen further south.

W10_18 (U) is still with its parents 4-08 and 23-10, but they have not been seen on territory in Juneau Co, nor further south yet, but are presumably on migration or staging somewhere in Wisconsin.

2018 Releases

16_11 (M), 73_18 (F), and 74_18 (M) are all still at Horicon NWR in Dodge Co, WI, and are doing well.

76_18 (F) was released at White River Marsh in Green Lake Co, WI, on 2 October. She moved around the area on her own for a week or so, and was seen with other Whooping Cranes. Her carcass was found on 12 October in the same field 30-16 (M) and 3-17 (M) were seen. The cause of death is likely predation.

77_18 (M) was also released at White River Marsh, on 11 October. He associated with target pair 5-12 and 67-15 for a while, but is now with a group of Sandhill Cranes. He is still in Green Lake Co, and seems to be doing well.

2017 Wild-hatched chicks

W3_17 (F) is still in Adams Co, WI, and is now with 11_15 (M). She has also been seen with her parents and their new chick, 24_09, 42_09, and W3_18.

W7_17 (F) has left Minnesota and as of 24 October was the first Whooping Crane to arrive at Wheeler NWR in Morgan Co, AL.

Parent-Reared 2017 Cohort

19_17 (M) and 25_17 (M) left Polk Co, WI and are currently in Kane Co, IL.

28_17 (M) is still in Sauk Co, WI.

24_17 (M) is in Dane Co, WI.

72_17 (M) has been moving around a little bit and is now in Jackson Co, MI.

38_17 (F) is still in Dodge Co, WI with 63-15 (M).

39_17 (F) is in Winnebago Co, WI.

Costume-Reared 2017 Cohort

7_17 (F) is still with 4_14 (M) in Green Lake Co.

3_17 (M) is still with 30_16 (M) and sometimes also with 5_12 and 67_15 in Green Lake Co, WI.

4_17 (M) and 6_17 (F) are on the move and were in Shawano Co, WI at the end of October.

1_17 (M), 2_17 (F) are currently in Winnebago Co, IL and are sometimes associating with 10_15 (F) and 4_13 (M).

8_17 was last seen in Sangamon Co, IL in May, but her whereabouts are still unknown.

Mortality

The carcass of 76_18 was collected on 12 October in Green Lake Co, WI (see above).

Confirmed Whooping Crane locations as of 1 November 2018.

Whooping Crane Update – October 1, 2018 

Below is the most recent update for the Eastern Migratory Population of Whooping Cranes. In the last month the remaining wild-hatched chicks have fledged. 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 estimated population size is 101 (45 F, 50 M, 6 U). This now includes fledged wild-hatched chicks and the family group released at Horicon NWR. As of 1 October, at least 80 Whooping Cranes are in Wisconsin, 3 in Michigan, possibly 3 in Illinois, and 1 in Minnesota. The remaining birds’ locations have not been confirmed in the last month or two. See maps below.

Nesting

As of 1 October, five wild-hatched chicks are still alive, all of which have fledged. A sixth chick fledged but died during September. Chicks in bold are currently alive. We had some miscommunication about mortalities so there is a correction since the last update.

W1_18 (U) is still in Juneau Co with its parents and has fledged.

W3_18 (F) is still with her parents in Adams Co and has fledged.

W5_18 (U) hatched to parents W3_10 and 8_04 in Juneau Co. We had found a transmitter from W5_18 with feathers attached, around the same time the parents disappeared. We could not confirm, but suspected W5_18 had died. Surprisingly, during September W3_10 and 8_04 showed up again with a fledged chick! So W5_18 is still alive, has fledged, and has been banded.

W6_18 (U) is still alive and with its parents 1-04 and 16-07 in Juneau Co, WI. W6-18 has been banded and has fledged.

W7_18 and W8_18 hatched to parents 9-03 and 3-04 in Juneau Co. We had a mix-up on a mortality report, and believed W10_18 was dead, but it was actually W7_18 whose carcass was collected in August.

W9_18 hatched to parents 14-08 and 24-08 in Juneau Co. We have seen 24_08 alone with the chick for most of July and August, suspecting 14_08 has died. During September we saw 24_08 with male 13_02 without the chick. On 15 September, the carcass of W9_18 was collected. W9_18 had fledged before its death.

W10_18 (U) hatched to parents 4-08 and 23-10 in Juneau Co. We believed W10_18 was dead due to a mix-up in a mortality report, but W10-18 is actually alive, was banded, and has fledged.

2018 Releases

16_11 (M), 18_12 (F), 73_18 (F), and 74_18 (M) were all released at Horicon NWR on 25 August. On 24 September, the carcass of 18_12 was collected and sent to the National Wildlife Health Center for necropsy. 16_11, 73_18, and 74_18 are together at Horicon NWR.

76_18 (F) and 77_18 (M) will be released in Wisconsin in early October.

2017 Wild-hatched chicks

W3_17 (F) is still in Adams Co, WI, and was last seen with 3_11 and 7_11.

W7_17 (F) is still alone in Wright Co, MN.

Parent-Reared 2017 Cohort

19_17 (M) and 25_17 (M) have returned to WI and are currently in Polk Co.

28_17 (M) is currently in Sauk Co, WI.

24_17 (M) is in Dane Co, WI.

72_17 (M) is still in Ingham Co, MI.

38_17 (F) is still in Dodge Co, WI with 63-15 (M).

39_17 (F) is still in Outagamie Co, WI.

Costume-Reared 2017 Cohort

7_17 (F) is still with 4_14 (M) in Green Lake Co.

3_17 (M) is still with two other adults 30_16 (M) and 11_15 (M) in Waushara Co.

4_17 (M) and 6_17 (F) are still in Brown Co, WI.

1_17 (M), 2_17 (F), and 8_17 (F) have split up and 1_17 and 2_17 are currently in Winnebago Co, IL. 8_17 was last seen in Sangamon Co, IL, but her whereabouts are still unknown.

Mortality

The carcass of 18_12 was collected on 24 Sept in Dodge Co, WI. It did not appear to be predated and was shipped to the National Wildlife Health Center for necropsy.

The carcass of 39_16 was collected on 25 Sept in Adams Co, WI. He had not been seen since 8 August and was likely dead for a while. Cause of death could not be determined.

Confirmed Whooping Crane locations as of 1 October 2018.

Whooping Crane Update – September 4, 2018 

Below is the most recent update for the Eastern Migratory Population of Whooping Cranes. In the last month another chick has fledged, and we’ve released our first Whooping Cranes of the year. 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 estimated population size is 100 (46 F, 51 M, 3 U). This does not include wild-hatched chicks that have not yet fledged, but does include fledged wild-hatched chicks and the family group released at Horicon NWR. As of 1 September, at least 79 Whooping Cranes are in Wisconsin, 3 in Michigan, possibly 3 in Illinois, and 3 in Minnesota. The remaining birds’ locations have not been confirmed in the last month or two. See maps below.

Nesting

As of 4 September, we have had at least ten chicks hatch in Wisconsin, five of which are still alive, and at least two of which have fledged. Chicks in bold are currently alive.

W1_18 and W2_18 hatched to parents 12-11 and 5-11 in Juneau Co, WI. W1-18 fledged in late July, and is still in Juneau Co.

W3_18 (F) and W4_18 hatched to parents 24-09 and 42-09 in Adams Co, WI. W3-18 is currently alive and with its parents and has been banded. W3-18 fledged sometime in August.

W6_18 is still alive and with its parents 1-04 and 16-07 in Juneau Co, WI. W6-18 has been banded.

W7_18 and W8_18 hatched to parents 9-03 and 3-04 in Juneau Co. W7_18 is still alive.

W9_18 hatched to parents 14-08 and 24-08 in Juneau Co, and is still alive. We have seen 24_08 alone with the chick for most of July and August. W9-18 has been banded.

W10_18 hatched to parents 4-08 and 23-10 in Juneau Co, but died in early August.

2018 Releases

In 2015, 16_11 (M) nested with a Sandhill Crane at Horicon NWR in Dodge Co, WI. He was captured in spring 2016 and brought to a captive center in Florida, White Oak Conservation, with a captive female, 18_12 (Hemlock). 18_12 was slated to be released with the 2012 DAR cohort at Horicon, but had a health issue that is now resolved. 16_11 and 18_12 paired in captivity, nested in 2018, and laid two eggs which both hatched. On 24 August, Windway Capital Corp. flew the four Whooping Cranes from Florida to Wisconsin. They were all released at Horicon NWR on 25 August near 16_11’s territory.

As of 4 September, 16_11 (M) and 73_18 (F) are associating and 18_12 (F) and 74_18 (M) are associating. The two groups are not far from each other. Since release they have explored more of the marsh, have roosted in appropriate habitat, and have made it through some severe storms in the area.

2017 Wild-hatched chicks

W3_17 (F) is still in Adams Co, WI, but is no longer with 39_16.

W7_17 (F) is still alone in Wright Co, MN.

Parent-Reared 2017 Cohort

19_17 (M) and 25_17 (M) are still in Scott, Carver, or Hennepin Co, MN.

28_17 (M) was last seen in Marquette Co, WI.

24_17 (M) is in Rock Co, WI.

72_17 (M) is still in Ingham Co, MI.

38_17 (F) is still in Dodge Co, WI, where she was released in the fall. She has met up with 63-15 (M).

39_17 (F) is still in Outagamie Co, WI.

Costume-Reared 2017 Cohort

7_17 (F) is still with 4_14 (M) in Green Lake Co.

3_17 (M) was recently sighted in Green Lake Co, WI with two other adults 30_16 (M) and 11_15 (M).

4_17 (M) and 6_17 (F) are still in Brown Co, WI.

1_17 (M), 2_17 (F), and 8_17 (F) have split up and 1_17 and 2_17 are currently in Winnebago Co, IL. 8_17 was last seen in Sangamon Co, IL, but her whereabouts are now unknown.

Mortality

The carcass of 71-16 (F) was collected 31 August but she had been dead for a while. She was last seen in late March in the same area. Cause of death is unknown.

18_11 (M), 24_13 (M), 26_09 (F), 10_10 (F), 17_07 (F) have not been seen in over one year, are now assumed to be dead, and have been removed from the population totals above.

Confirmed Whooping Crane locations as of 4 September 2018.

Whooping Crane Update – August 1, 2018 

Below is the most recent update for the Eastern Migratory Population of Whooping Cranes. In the last month birds haven’t moved much, and our first chick has fledged! 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 estimated population size is 101 (47 F, 51 M, 3 U). This does not include wild-hatched chicks. As of 1 August, at least 74 Whooping Cranes are in Wisconsin, 3 in Michigan, possibly 3 in Illinois, 2 in Iowa, and 3 in Minnesota. The remaining birds’ locations have not been confirmed in the last month or two. See maps below.

Nesting

As of 1 August, we have had at least ten chicks hatch in Wisconsin, six of which are still alive, and one of which has fledged. Chicks in bold are currently alive.

W1_18 and W2_18 hatched to parents 12-11 and 5-11 in Juneau Co, WI. W1-18 fledged in late July.

W3_18 and W4_18 hatched to parents 24-09 and 42-09 in Adams Co, WI. W3-18 is currently alive and with its parents and has been banded.

W6_18 is still alive and with its parents 1-04 and 16-07 in Juneau Co, WI.

W7_18 and W8_18 hatched to parents 9-03 and 3-04 in Juneau Co. W7_18 is still alive.

W9_18 hatched to parents 14-08 and 24-08 in Juneau Co, and is still alive. We believe 14_08 may be dead since we have seen 24_08 alone with the chick for most of July (see below).

W10_18 hatched to parents 4-08 and 23-10 in Juneau Co, and is still alive.

2017 Wild-hatched chicks

W3_17 (U) is still in Adams Co, WI, with 39_16. W3_17 was captured during July to be banded with uniquely colored bands and a VHF transmitter.

W7_17 (F) is still in Wright Co, MN.

Parent-Reared 2017 Cohort

19_17 (M) and 25_17 (M) left Clark County for Barron County Wisconsin during July, and are currently in Sibley Co, MN.

28_17 (M) is still in Marquette Co, WI.

24_17 (M) is in Rock Co, WI.

72_17 (M) is still in Ingham Co, MI.

38_17 (F) is still in Dodge Co, WI, where she was released in the fall.

39_17 (F) is still in Outagamie Co, WI.

Costume-Reared 2017 Cohort

7_17 is still with 4_14 (M) in Green Lake Co.

3_17 was last seen in Stephenson Co, IL with 31_16 (M) in mid-May.

4_17 (M) and 6_17 (F) moved around a bit but are back in Brown Co, WI.

1_17 (M), 2_17 (F), and 8_17 (F) have split up and 1_17 and 2_17 are currently in Franklin Co, IA. 8_17 was last seen in Sangamon Co, IL, but her whereabouts are now unknown.

Mortality

We believe 14_08 (M) has died during July. We have seen his mate 24_08 alone with their chick for most of July. 14_08 was last seen 14 June. We have not found a carcass to confirm this mortality, or to determine cause of death, however due to the behavior of his mate, and the unlikeliness of 14_08 leaving his family group, we have removed him from the population totals above.

Confirmed Whooping Crane locations as of 1 August 2018.

Whooping Crane Update – July 1, 2018

July 3, 2018 

Below is the most recent update for the Eastern Migratory Population of Whooping Cranes. In the last month nesting season has ended. 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 estimated population size is 102 (47 F, 52 M, 3 U). This does not include wild-hatched chicks. As of 3 July, at least 81 Whooping Cranes are in Wisconsin, 3 in Michigan, 2 in Illinois, 3 in Iowa, and 1 in Minnesota. The remaining birds’ locations have not been confirmed in the last month. See maps below.

Nesting

As of 3 July, we have had at least ten chicks hatch from 7 of 23 total nests in Wisconsin. We currently have two Whooping Crane (first) nests for which we have not yet confirmed the outcome. In total, we had 18 first nests and 5 re-nests. One egg was pulled from each of four nests at Necedah NWR, as an effort to supplement captive breeding for this year’s release cohort, and increase chick survival. Chicks hatched from 5 first nests and 2 re-nests (not including the two unknown first nests). Chicks in bold are currently alive.

Unknown status: 3-11/7-11 in Adams County, 5-10/28-08 in Marathon Co

Eggs pulled: One egg was pulled from each of the following nests: W3-10/8-04, 32-09/19-10, 16-07/1-04, 36-09/18-03.

Did not hatch: 9-03/3-04 first nest Juneau Co, 13-03/9-05 Juneau Co, 34-09/4-08 Juneau Co, W1-06/1-10 Juneau Co, 36-09/18-03 Juneau Co, 59-13/1-11 St. Croix Co, 27-14/10-11 Marquette Co, 3-14/4-12 Green Lake Co, 32-09/19-10 Juneau Co, 2-04/25-09 Juneau Co

W1-18 and W2-18 hatched to parents 12-11 and 5-11 in Juneau Co, WI. W1-18 is currently still alive.

W3-18 and W4-18 hatched to parents 24-09 and 42-09 in Adams Co, WI. The two chicks were confirmed on 5 June but likely hatched around 27 May. The family was seen with only one chick on 18 June. W3-18 is currently alive and with its parents.

W5-18 hatched to parents W3-10 and 8-04 in Juneau Co, WI. This chick was confirmed on 5 June but likely hatched around 30 May. As of 3 July, W5-18 is suspected to be dead but it is not yet confirmed.

W6-18 hatched to parents 1-04 and 16-07 by 7 June in Juneau Co, WI, and is still alive.

Two chicks have hatched to parents 9-03 and 3-04 in Juneau Co on 11 and 13 June, one of which is still alive.

One chick hatched to parents 14-08 and 24-08 on 13 June in Juneau Co, and is still alive.

One chick hatched to parents 4-08 and 23-10 on 20 June in Juneau Co, and is still alive.

These remaining four chicks have not yet been named. They will be given ID numbers once we have confirmed the fates of two nests that should have hatched in early-mid June.

2017 Wild-hatched chicks

W3_17 (U) is still in Adams Co, WI, with 39_16.

W7_17 (F) was last reported in Wright Co, MN.

Parent-reared 2017 Cohort

19_17 (M) and 25_17 (M) are either in Marathon Co or Clark Co, WI, and have met up with 36_17 (F).

28_17 (M) is in Marquette Co, WI, near his original release area.

24_17 (M) is still in Dane Co, WI.

72_17 (M) is in Ingham Co, MI.

38_17 (F) is still in Dodge Co, WI, where she was released in the fall.

39_17 (F) is still in Outagamie Co, WI.

Costume-Reared 2017 Cohort

7_17 is still with 4_14 (M) in Green Lake Co.

3_17 was last seen in Stephenson Co, IL with 31_16 (M).

4_17 (M) and 6_17 (F) are still in Brown Co, WI.

1_17 (M), 2_17 (F), and 8_17 (F) have moved around quite a bit but are currently in Franklin Co, IA.

Mortality

None known during June (with the exception of wild-hatched chicks – see above).

Confirmed Whooping Crane locations as of 3 July 2018.

Confirmed Whooping Crane locations as of 3 July 2018.

Whooping Crane Update – June 1, 2018 

Below is the most recent update for the Eastern Migratory Population of Whooping Cranes. In the last month Whooping Cranes have continued nesting season, and we’ve had our first wild-hatched chicks of the year. 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 estimated population size is 102 (47 F, 52 M, 3 U). As of 1 June, at least 81 Whooping Cranes are in Wisconsin, 3 in Michigan, 2 in Illinois, 3 in Iowa, and 1 in Minnesota. The remaining birds’ locations have not been confirmed in the last month. See maps below.

Nesting

As of 1 June, we have had two chicks hatch from nests in Wisconsin. We currently have 13 active Whooping Crane nests. One egg was pulled from each of four nests at Necedah NWR, as an effort to supplement captive breeding for this year’s release cohort, and increase chick survival. Chicks in bold are currently alive.

Incubating: W3-10/8-04, 32-09/19-10, 16-07/1-04, 36-09/18-03, 25-09/2-04, 9-03/3-04, 24-08/14-08, and 23-10/4-08 are currently incubating in Juneau Co, WI. 4-12/3-14 are nesting in Green Lake Co, WI. 42-09/24-09 and 3-11/7-11 are nesting in Adams County, 5-10/28-08 are nesting in Marathon Co, and 27-14/10-11 are nesting in Marquette Co, WI.

Eggs pulled: One egg was pulled from each of the following nests: W3-10/8-04, 32-09/19-10, 16-07/1-04, 36-09/18-03.

W1-18 and W2-18 hatched to parents 12-11 and 5-11 in Juneau Co, WI. The chicks were confirmed on 7 May, but likely hatched on 4 May. On 10 May, W2-18 was not seen with the family group.

2017 Wild-hatched chicks

W3_17 (U) is still in Adams Co, WI, with 11_15, 39_16, and sometimes 29_16.

W7_17 (F) left Iowa Co, IA, and is currently in Wright Co, MN.

Parent-Reared 2017 Cohort

19_17 (M) and 25_17 (M) went back to Marathon Co, WI, where they were released last fall.

28_17 (M) is moving around and was last seen in Dodge Co, WI.

24_17 (M) is now in Dane Co, WI.

72_17 (M) is still in Jackson Co, MI.

38_17 (F) is still in Dodge Co, WI, where she was released in the fall.

39_17 (F) is still in Outagamie Co, WI.

36_17 (F) is now in Marathon Co, WI, near where she was released last fall.

Costume-Reared 2017 Cohort

3_17 (M) and 7_17 (F) split up and 7_17 is with 4_14 (M) in Green Lake Co, and 3_17 was last seen in Stephenson Co, IL with 31_16 (M).

4_17 (M) and 6_17 (F) are still moving around, and after spending some time in Sauk and Columbia Counties, are now in Brown Co, WI.

1_17 (M), 2_17 (F), and 8_17 (F) left Peoria Co, IL, and are now in Hancock Co, IA.

Mortality

None known during May.

Confirmed Whooping Crane locations as of 1 June 2018

Whooping Crane Update – May 1, 2018

Below is the most recent update for the Eastern Migratory Population of Whooping Cranes. In the last month Whooping Cranes have started nesting season, despite an April snowstorm in Wisconsin. 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 estimated population size is 102 (47 F, 52 M, 3 U). As of 1 May, at least 79 Whooping Cranes are in Wisconsin, 3 in Michigan, 3 in Illinois, and 1 in Iowa. The remaining birds’ locations have not been confirmed in the last month. See maps below.

Nesting
As of 1 May, we have one active Whooping Crane nest. The eggs were pulled from one nest as a part of a forced re-nesting management tool to avoid nest abandonments during the black fly hatch. 3-5 first nests at Necedah NWR were abandoned likely due to a snowstorm and a freezing of the marshes.

Incubating: 12-11 and 5-11 are currently incubating in Juneau Co, WI.

Forced re-nest: 14-08 and 24-08’s first eggs were pulled on 30 April.

Abandoned: Pairs 9-03/3-04, W1-06/1-10, 13-03/9-05, and likely also 36-09/18-03, 16-07/1-04 were incubating on 13 April prior to a snow storm, and as of 27 April were no longer incubating.

2017 Wild-hatched chicks
W3_17 (U) is still in Adams Co, WI, likely with one other sub-adult.

W7_17 (F) left Edwards Co, IL and was last reported in Iowa Co, IA.

Parent-Reared 2017 Cohort
19_17 (M) and 25_17 (M) migrated back to Wisconsin, took a trip over to Dakota Co, MN, and are now back in WI in Polk Co.

28_17 (M) migrated back to Wisconsin and was last seen in Green Lake Co.

24_17 (M) has returned to Wisconsin and is currently in Walworth Co.

72_17 (M) migrated north to Jackson Co, MI.

30_17 (F) migrated back to Lake Co, IL, where her remains were collected on 23 April (see below).

38_17 (F) is still in Dodge Co, WI.

39_17 (F) migrated north to Michigan during April, but then made it back around Lake Michigan and is currently in Outagamie Co, WI.

36_17 (F) migrated back to Wisconsin and went all the way north to the Apostle Islands on Lake Superior and is now in Burnett Co, WI.

Costume-Reared 2017 Cohort
3_17 (M) and 7_17 (F) migrated back to Wisconsin and are currently in Green Lake Co.

4_17 (M) and 6_17 (F) migrated back to Wisconsin and are moving around a lot! They are currently in Washington County.

1_17 (M), 2_17 (F), and 8_17 (F) left Lawrence Co, TN and are currently in Peoria Co, IL.

Mortality
30-17 died in Lake Co, IL, and her remains were collected on 23 April. Based on satellite telemetry, she likely died on or before 19 April. The cause of death appeared to be predation.

Confirmed Whooping Crane locations as of 1 May 2018

Whooping Crane Update – April 2, 2018

Below is the most recent update for the Eastern Migratory Population of Whooping Cranes. In the last month most Whooping Cranes have completed migration! 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 estimated population size is 103 (48 F, 52 M, 3 U). As of 2 April, at least 35 Whooping Cranes are in Wisconsin, 2 in Michigan, 16 in Illinois, 19 in Indiana, 8 in Kentucky, 3 in Tennessee, 3 in Alabama, and 2 in Florida. Some of these birds have begun migration and have not been reported further north, so these are the last known locations. The remaining birds’ locations have not been confirmed in the last month. See maps below.

2017 Wild-hatched chicks

W3-17 (U) is migrated back to Wisconsin with its parents (24-09 and 42-09) and was last seen in Adams Co, WI with 31-16, 29-16, and 39-16. 39-16 has moved to Monroe Co, but we’re not sure if W3-17 and others went with him.

W7-17 (F) is left Morgan Co, AL with her parents (14-08 and 24-08, and was last reported in Edwards Co, IL.

Parent-Reared 2017 Cohort

19-17 (M) and 25-17 (M) are still in Jackson Co, AL likely with adult 37-07 (M).

28-17 (M) left Okeechobee Co, FL, and is in Jackson Co, IN with Sandhill Cranes.

24-17 (M) is still in Randolph Co, IL, however 63-15 has returned to Wisconsin.

72-17 (M) is still in Hendry Co, FL. (Note: as of 4/3/2018, she is in Lake County, FL.)

30-17 (F) left Plaquemines Parish, LA, and is currently in Hickman Co, KY.

38-17 (F) is still in Dodge Co, WI with Sandhill Cranes.

39-17 (F) is in LaPorte Co, IN with Sandhill Cranes.

36-17 (F) left Madison Co, FL and is currently in Gallatin Co, IL.

Costume-Reared 2017 Cohort

3-17 (M) and 7-17 (F) left Morgan Co, AL at Wheeler NWR, and are currently in Webster Co, KY with 69-16.

4-17 (M) and 6-17 (F) left Fulton Co, KY and are currently in Clinton Co, IL.

1-17 (M), 2-17 (F), and 8-17 (F) left Talladega Co, AL and are currently in Lawrence Co, TN.

Parent-Reared 2016 Cohort

29-16 (M) and 39-16 (M) left Dyer Co, TN and were in Adams Co, WI, with 31-16 and W3-17. 39-16 is currently in Monroe Co, WI, but we’re not sure if the other birds moved with him.

30-16 (M) and 5-12 (M) left St. Mark’s NWR in Wakulla Co, FL, and are currently in Saline Co, IL. (Note: it is believed these two resumed migration between 3/29 – 4/1)

31-16 (M) left Weakley Co, TN, and was last seen in Adams Co, WI, with 29-16, W3-17, and 39-16. 39-16 has moved to Monroe Co, but we’re not sure if 31-16 and others went with him.

33-16 (F)’s satellite transmitter is still firing off along the Mississippi River in Clinton Co, IA, however she has not been seen. We suspect she may be dead, but we have not yet removed her from the totals until we can confirm.

69-16 (F) left Wheeler NWR in Morgan Co, AL and is currently in Webster Co, KY with 3-17 and 7-17.

71-16 (F) left Jackson Co, IN, and is currently in Winnebago Co, WI.

Mortality

None known.

Confirmed Whooping Crane locations as of 2 April 2018

Whooping Crane Update – March 1, 2018

Below is the most recent update for the Eastern Migratory Population of Whooping Cranes. In the last month Whooping Cranes begun migration! 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 estimated population size is 103 (48 F, 52 M, 3 U). As of 1 March, 1 Whooping Crane is still in Wisconsin, 1 in Michigan, 4 in Illinois, 39 in Indiana, 11 in Kentucky, 7 in Tennessee, 20 in Alabama, 4 in Georgia, 7 in Florida, and 2 in Louisiana. Some of these birds have begun migration and have not been reported further north, so these are the last known locations. The remaining birds’ locations have not been confirmed in the last month. See map below.

2017 Wild-hatched chicks
W3_17 (U) is still with its parents (24_09 and 42_09) in Hopkins Co, KY
W7_17 (F) is still with her parents (14_08 and 24_08) in Morgan Co, AL.

Parent-Reared 2017 Cohort
19_17 (M) and 25_17 (M) are still in Jackson Co, AL likely with adult 37_07 (M). Females 2_15 and 28_05 have left Alabama and are currently in northern Indiana.
28_17 (M) was last confirmed in Okeechobee Co, FL, and may still be in the area.
24_17 (M) is still with 63_15 (M) in Randolph Co, IL.
72_17 (M) is still in Hendry Co, FL.
30_17 (F) is still in Plaquemines Parish, LA.
38_17 (F) is still in Dodge Co, WI. Sandhill Cranes have now returned to Wisconsin and 38_17 was seen with a few Sandhills at the end of February.
39_17 (F) is in Pulaski Co, IN, near 2_15 (F) and 28_05 (F).
36_17 (F) is still in Madison Co, FL.
Costume-Reared 2017 Cohort
3_17 (M) and 7_17 (F) are still in Morgan Co, AL at Wheeler NWR.
4_17 (M) and 6_17 (F) are still in Fulton Co, KY.
1_17 (M), 2_17 (F), and 8_17 (F) are still in Talladega Co, AL.

Parent-Reared 2016 Cohort
29_16 (M) and 39_16 (M) are still in Dyer Co, TN.
30_16 (M) and 5_12 (M) are still at St. Mark’s NWR in Wakulla Co, FL.
31_16 (M) was last seen in Weakley Co, TN, at the end of February.
33_16 (F)’s satellite transmitter is still firing off along the Mississippi River in Clinton Co, IA, however she has not been seen. We suspect she may be dead, but we have not yet removed her from the totals until we can confirm.
69_16 (F) is still at Wheeler NWR in Morgan Co, AL. This winter she was associating regularly with 11_15 (M).
70_16 (M) was captured in Knox Co, KY, by a landowner when he was caught in a fence. He was brought to a rehab center, and Louisville Zoo, where he underwent surgery for his injuries, but ended up being euthanized.
71_16 (F) left Florida and is now in Jackson Co, IN, with thousands of Sandhill Cranes.

Mortality
70_16 (M) was euthanized during February at the Louisville Zoo, for injuries sustained in the wild. See above.

Confirmed Whooping Crane locations as of 1 March 2018

Whooping Crane Update – February 1, 2018

Below is the most recent update for the Eastern Migratory Population of Whooping Cranes. In the last month Whooping Cranes have mostly stayed at their wintering grounds. 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 estimated population size is 104 (48 F, 53 M, 3 U). As of 1 February, 1 Whooping Crane is still in Wisconsin, 3 in Illinois, 32 in Indiana, 8 in Kentucky, 6 in Tennessee, 33 in Alabama, 4 in Georgia, 7 in Florida, and 2 in Louisiana. The remaining birds’ locations have not been confirmed in the last month. See maps below.

2017 Wild-hatched chicks

W3_17 (U) is still with its parents (24_09 and 42_09) in Hopkins Co, KY.
W7_17 (F) is still with her parents (14_08 and 24_08) in Morgan Co, AL.

Parent-Reared 2017 Cohort

19_17 (M) and 25_17 (M) are still in Jackson Co, AL with adults 37_07 (M), 2_15 (F), and 28_05 (F).
28_17 (M) has been confirmed in Okeechobee Co, FL, not too far from adult 16_12 (M).
24_17 (M) is still with 63_15 (M) in Randolph Co, IL.
72_17 (M) is still in Hendry Co, FL.
30_17 (F) is still in Plaquemines Parish, LA.
38_17 (F) is still in Dodge Co, WI.
39_17 (F) is still in Jasper Co, IN.
36_17 (F) is still in Madison Co, FL and is now associating with sub-adult 71_16 (F).

Costume-Reared 2017 Cohort

3_17 (M) and 7_17 (F) are still in Morgan Co, AL at Wheeler NWR.
4_17 (M) and 6_17 (F) left Effingham Co, IL, and are now in Fulton Co, KY.
1_17 (M), 2_17 (F), and 8_17 (F) left Perry Co, TN, and are now in Talladega Co, AL.

 Parent-Reared 2016 Cohort

29_16 (M) and 39_16 (M) are still in Dyer Co, TN.
30_16 (M) and 5_12 (M) are still at St. Mark’s NWR in Wakulla Co, FL.
31_16 (M) has not been seen since November in Wisconsin.

33_16 (F)’s satellite transmitter is firing off along the Mississippi River in Clinton Co, IA, however she has not been seen. We suspect she may be dead, but we have not yet removed her from the totals until we can confirm.

69_16 (F) is still at Wheeler NWR in Morgan Co, AL.
70_16 (M) is still in Knox County, KY.
71_16 (F) is still in Madison Co, FL and is now associating with parent-reared juvenile 36_17 (F).

Long-term missing

The following birds have not been seen for more than one year and have been removed from the estimated population total above: 8_05 (F), 39_07 (F), 11_09 (M), 18_09 (M), 8_10 (M), 6_11 (M).

Confirmed Whooping Crane locations as of 1 February 2018

Whooping Crane Update – January 3, 2018 

Below is the most recent update for the Eastern Migratory Population of Whooping Cranes. In the last month most Whooping Cranes have reached their wintering grounds. 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 110 (50 F, 57 M, 3 U). As of 3 January, 1 Whooping Crane is still in Wisconsin, 7 in Illinois, 32 in Indiana, 8-10 in Kentucky, 8-9 in Tennessee, 26 in Alabama, 2 in Georgia, 5 in Florida, and 2 in Louisiana. The remaining birds’ locations have not been confirmed in the last month. See maps below.

2017 Wild-hatched chicks

W3_17 (U) is still with its parents (24_09 and 42_09) in Hopkins Co, KY.
W7_17 (F) is still with her parents (14_08 and 24_08) in Morgan Co, AL.

Parent-Reared 2017 Cohort

19_17 (M) and 25_17 (M) are still in Jackson Co, AL with adults 2_15 and 28_05.
26_17 (F) was found dead on 16 December in Wabash Co, IL (see below).
28_17 (M) has not been seen since November in Walworth Co, WI. He has likely left this area but has not been confirmed further south.
24_17 (M) left Jasper Co, IN with adult 63_15 and is currently in Randolph Co, IL.
72_17 (M) is still in Hendry Co, FL.
30_17 (F) is still in Plaquemines Parish, LA.
38_17 (F) is alone in Dodge Co, WI. Capture attempts are being made to translocate her further south.
39_17 (F) left Wisconsin during December and is currently in Jasper Co, IN.
36_17 (F) left Jasper Co, IN and is currently in Madison Co, FL.

Costume-Reared 2017 Cohort

3_17 (M) and 7_17 (F) continued south and are currently in Morgan Co, AL.
4_17 (M) and 6_17 (F) left Wisconsin and are currently in Effingham Co, IL.
1_17 (M), 2_17 (F), and 8_17 (F) were translocated on 12 December from Green Lake Co, WI to Greene Co, IN. That same day, they continued further south and are now currently in Perry Co, TN.

Parent-Reared 2016 Cohort

29_16 (M) and 39_16 (M) are still in Dyer Co, TN.
30_16 (M) and 5_12 (M) are still at St. Mark’s NWR in Wakulla Co, FL.
31_16 (M) has not been seen since November in Wisconsin.
33_16 (F) is still along the Mississippi River either in Clinton Co, IA or Carroll Co, IL.
69_16 (F) is still at Wheeler NWR in Morgan Co, AL.
70_16 (M) is still in Knox County, KY.
71_16 (F) left 63_15 and 24_17 in Indiana, and went to her previous wintering area in Jackson Co, IN before heading to Rhea Co, TN and now Madison Co, FL.

Mortality

The remains of 26_17 were found on 16 December in Wabash Co, IL, where she had been for a few weeks. The cause of her mortality is unknown.

Confirmed Whooping Crane locations as of 3 January 2018