FINAL Whooping Crane Migration Update: May 9, 2008


Today's Report Includes:

  • The Migration : Map, Data, Highlights >>
  • Field Reports: Our Scientists Wrap Up >>
  • Journal: Why Did They Leave the Eggs? >>
  • Chick Chat: Three Babies Hatch! >>
  • Slide Show: The Big Egg Hunt >>
  • Links: This Week's Crane Resources >>

Three "Class of 2008" Chicks have hatched! Say Hello: >>
Photo Bev Paulan, Operation Migration

The Migration: Maps, Data and Highlights
Maps and Data


Arrival Log >>

Map Questions >>


Western Flock: The migration sightings now are mainly in Canada, and Wood Buffalo National Park will soon be an active nesting grounds. While some Whooping Cranes are already sitting on nests there, at least two cranes haven't even started migration from Texas!

Eastern Flock: The first babies for the Class of 2008 have hatched, and with the touchdown of #733 on May 7, all but one (#727) in the Class of 2007 is home! The six 2007 DAR birds are in Michigan. Most of the flock's 72 birds are where they'll be for summer, but #516 hasn't begun migration yet.

Field Reports: Our Scientists Wrap Up

Read >>
Brian Johns' report

Read >>
Tom Stehn's report

Read >>
Sara Zimorski's report

Western Flock Reports: Brian Johns prepares for nesting surveys next week. What does he hope to find? >> One or two stragglers remain in Texas, and Tom Stehn helps us understand why.>>

Eastern Flock Report: This would have been the week for 3 nests to hatch young, but all 10 spring nests have now been abandoned. Sara shares that sad news but also has glad news to end the season's reports. There's reason to hope. >>

Journal: Why Did They Leave the Eggs?

Now you have read the field reports about the failed nests. Tom Stehn says, "Re-nesting is possible, but usually occurs after a pair's nest has been harmed by something like a flood or predator. It is really hard to say what the whooping cranes will do that may have left their nests for no reason apparent to us." Operation Migration's Liz Condie puzzled, "Is it weather related? What is going on? If only there really was a Dr. Doolittle." Join our scientists in grappling to answer:

  • Why did the Whooping Cranes leave their eggs? What factors could you investigate and track?

"It is very, very hard to successfully get Whooping Cranes to breed," Tom Stehn reminded us last week. Sadly, this week's nest report proves it: All nests failed.

Chick Chat: Three Babies Hatch! Summer Adventures Slide Show >> 

Whoopee! The first chick in the new Class of 2008 has hatched! Chick #801 emerged on May 4, soon followed by #802 and #803. We've started "Baby Books" for each precious fluff ball so you can meet them right away. Operation Migration's Bev and ultralight pilot Brooke are in Maryland for care and training of the chicks before they are transported to Wisconsin for flight school in June and July.

More eggs will be received for hatching soon at Patuxent WRC. Will the Class of 2008 have 24 chicks, as hoped for?

Hear Bev >>

Photo WCEP
New chicks have much to learn!

Slide Show Handout >>

Slide Show: The Big Egg Hunt New! Slide Show >>

Last week we answered: Where do the eggs for the new flock come from? You learned that the eggs are laid by Whooping Cranes living at 5 captive breeding centers. Next question: Where did the eggs to start the captive breeding centers come from?

The fascinating story starts with big discovery — and then a helicopter, a wool sock and a bucket of water. Join Canada's Brian Johns as he shares the story of The Big Egg Hunt and how it's helping to save the species. >>

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
  • Follow Histories: Meet the Cranes of the New Eastern Flock >>
  • Interview: Whooper Happenings #30: Happy Earth Day Podcast Interview With Brian Johns >>
  • Get Acquainted: WCEP Partners: Who Does What? >>
  • Summarize: Nesting Summary 2008, Eastern Flock >>
  • Calculate: How ManyWhooping Crane Eggs Does it Take to Make Another Whooping Crane Egg? >>
  • Discover: Is This Crane Egg Fertile and Alive? >>
  • Understand: Why Captive Breeding? >>
  • Investigate: Eggs From Many Places: Building Genetic Diversity >>
  • Keep Track: Total Whooping Crane Population >>
  • View Video, Do Activity: Dance Like the Cranes >>
  • Overview: The Whooping Crane Migration Study >>
What's the weather in crane habitat today? Why is it important?>>
This is the FINAL Whooping Crane Migration Update. Thanks for cheering the chicks on their journey north. Please join us in September for the Class of 2008's Journey South with Ultralight planes. Until then, find the latest chick and training news at Operation Migration. Best wishes for a fun-filled summer!