Whooping Crane Migration Update: May 2, 2008

Today's Report Includes:

  • The Migration: Map, Data and Highlights >>
  • Field Reports: On the Nesting Grounds >>
  • Journal: How Were the Nesting Grounds Discovered? >>
  • Ultralight-led Chicks: Eggs From Where? >>
  • Year-end Evaluation: Please Share Your Thoughts >>
  • Links: This Week's Crane Resources >>

He was found before, but where is #733 now? >>
Poster Operation Migration

The Migration: Maps, Data and Highlights
Maps and Data


Arrival Log >>

Map Questions >>


Western Flock: Brian Johns reports the first cranes will have arrived this week at the nesting grounds in Wood Buffalo National Park! What will they find? (Tom Stehn's flight is postponed until May 15, but it's a sure bet that few, if any, cranes remain in Texas. See Tom's egg news, later in this report.)

Eastern Flock: All HY2007 cranes from the ultralight-led (UL) flock have now completed migration except for #727 and #733, and six DAR Birds are in Michigan. Yearling #735, still incapable of flight, remains penned at Necedah NWR. We're thrilled that nine pairs are still nesting!

  • Which Cranes Have Reached the Finish Line? See the list: >>
Field Reports: On the Nesting Grounds

#735 with a snake snack
Photo Eva Szyszkoski

Read >>
Brian Johns' report

Read >>
Sara's report

Western Flock Report: Biologist Brian Johns reports from the home stretch of the migration route in Canada, where the cranes will be starting to nest. How do water conditions — whether wet or dry— affect the success of nesting? What is the record number of nests and young hatched in the natural flock? >>

Eastern Flock Report: Aviculturalist Sara Zimorski sums up the busy season with some fun facts about the new flock, including "everybirdy's" whereabouts. She gives us a nest update, too. Which of the original 10 nests are still active? >>

Journal Question: How Were the Nesting Grounds Discovered? Explore: Nesting Grounds in Canada's Wilderness >>

Until 2001, only one flock of Whooping Cranes flew the skies of North America. Those birds (all 266) winter in Texas and have been coming to the Canadian nesting grounds for thousands of years. You might be surprised how long it took people to find out where the nesting grounds are! See: The Natural Flock's Nesting Grounds in Canada and follow the links to answer:

  • When and how were the nesting grounds in Canada discovered?

Summarize the story in your journal.

Photo Richard Urbanek, ICF
The cranes toss aquatic vegetation in the direction of the nest to create the low platform on which they lay their two eggs.
The nest has a ring of water around it.

Ultralight-led Chicks: Eggs from Where? Tom Stehn Reports: Hoping for Eggs >>

A student asked this good question:

How does the Team get the Whooping Crane eggs for the ultralight-led chicks?

Captive breeding centers have provided the eggs since the flock was started in 2001. Tom Stehn, co-leader of the International Whooping Crane Recovery Team, explains more in this week's special report. He said, "IF enough eggs are produced, we'd like Operation Migration to try to migrate with 24 chicks in Fall 2008." That's a LOT of chicks! Will it happen? Tom is worried: >>

Hoping for Eggs >>
Year-end Evaluation: Please Share Your Thoughts! >>

Will you take a few minutes to complete our Year-end Evaluation?

Only with your help can we document Journey North's reach, impact and value. The information you provide is critical for planning new initiatives and for improving Journey North. Thank you!

Year-end Evaluation >>
This Week's Crane Resources
  • Check: the Weather in Crane Habitat >>
  • Eastern Flock Nesting Update for This Week: >>
  • Map: Canadian Nesting Grounds Map/Activities >>
  • Get Acquainted: WCEP Partners: Who Does What? >>
  • Investigate: Eggs From Many Places: Building Genetic Diversity >>
  • Population: Total Whooping Cranes, April 24, 2008 >>
  • Overview: The Whooping Crane Migration Study >>

More Whooping Crane Lessons and Teaching Ideas!

The FINAL Whooping Crane Migration Update Will Be Posted on May 9, 2008.