Whooping Crane Migration Update: April 13, 2007

Today's Report Includes:

Five of the new flock are still in Florida! Which one is this?


Migration Map and Highlights: Who's Home?
Departure Log
Click for migration animation >>

Arrival Log
Click for migration animation >>

Migration is in full swing! Whooping Cranes in the natural (Western) flock are now spread out from Texas to North Dakota this week, and lucky observers have spotted them!

Cranes #509, #516, #615, #523, and DAR 27_06 are still at Florida wintering areas, but at least 47 of their flock mates have completed migration to the Wisconsin Finish Line. Wayward female #309 is back in New York state. The Tracking Team will try to relocate the four-year-old (again) to Necedah NWR, where she can find others of her species with whom to mate. The tiny flock needs all the moms they can get!

As locations are confirmed, migration progress of both flocks appears live on our MapServer. Read observer comments as more Whoopers are spotted in the flyways. Curious about your favorite crane in the new flock? Life story pages are updated as information arrives (scroll down to "Spring 2007" at the bottom of the page).

Hooray! Eggs on the Way Lesson >>

An “egg hunt” at Necedah National Wildlife Refuge turned up a surprise last week! The crane team's Richard Urbanek observed #211 as she turned or rolled an egg in a nest she made with her mate, #217. Last spring, these two became the new flock's first parents. Will they raise another chick this year?

Two other pairs have been observed nest building on the refuge, but no eggs have been found yet. Pair #213 and #218 were nest building April 3, but changed sites and began again. Pair #209 and #416 were also seen building a nest last week. Five pairs are likely to breed at the refuge this spring.
Stay tuned!

Take an imaginary trip inside the egg! >>
Tom Stehn Reports: A Surprise!
Read Tom's report >>

Not one single Whooper of the Western flock of 237 died during the winter. How many have begun the 2,500-mile flight to Canada? In a newer, faster airplane, Tom Stehn flew over the Western flock's winter home on April 10 to find out.

During his flight, Tom made a discovery so surprising that he asked the pilot to circle back for another look! What was the surprise?

Journal: When Will it Hatch?

In Wisconsin, last year's successful breeding pair began incubating this spring's first egg on April 3. Whooping Crane eggs incubate, on average, for 30 days.

  • When will the egg laid on April 3 hatch?

Write your answer in your journal. >>

Crane egg photo by USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
This Week's Crane Resources
  • Look: Try Identifying Whoopers From an Airplane >>
  • Video Clip: Whoopers' Wild Goose Chase! >>
  • Discover: A Day in the Life of a Migrating Whooper >>
  • Whooping Crane Migration Journals (click-and-print) >>
  • Whooping Cranes for Kids (booklets, photos, videos) >>
  • Remember: Whooper Happenings Podcast Tribute to the Class of HY2006 >>
More Whooping Crane Lessons and Teaching Ideas!

The Next Whooping Crane Migration Update Will Be Posted on April 20, 2007.