Eastern Flock Whooping Crane Pairs Incubating
Spring 2009

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2009 Summary: 12 unsuccessful nests. Five or six pairs renested (it is unknown if there was a sixth renest). Two eggs hatched but the two chicks did not survive to fledge. Rescued eggs from the first failed nest of #309 & #403 hatched in captivity into ultralight-led chicks #906 and #908.
#505 and 415 April 2 failed 4/24

#313 and #318

April 7
May ? re-nest
First nest failed 4/19. They re-nested but the second nest also failed (5/17).
#211 and #217

April 7
May 13-17 (?) re-nest

First nest failed 4/24; Second nest hatched W2-09 on June 14 or 15. The shell of the second egg was punctured, and the fully developed chick did not hatch. Chick W2-09 vanished at two weeks of age despite good parental care. (See photo)
#309 and 403 April 8
May 23
First nest failed 5/3* but they re-nested. Their second nest failed June 14 but this pair's eggs hatched into #906 and #908 for the ultralight-led flock!
#303 and 317 April 8
May 21 re-nest
First nest failed 4/24; re-nested but abandoned that nest June 7. A rescued egg was incubated in Maryland for the ultralight flock but the chick did not survive.
#401 and 508 April 9 failed 4/24
#408 and 519 April 8
Possible re-nest
First nest failed 4/21; possibly re-nesting, but no location ever confirmed.
#212 and 419 April 9
May 21 re-nest

First nest failed 4/24; They re-nested and their 2 infertile eggs were replace with 1 fertile egg from ICF on June 11. This chick hatched June 12 and was named W1-09 (Wild #1 in hatch year 2009) but did not survive to fledge.

#213 and 218 April 16 failed 4/24
#311 and 312 April 20 failed 4/24
#501 and 105 April 21 failed 4/24
#310 and W601 Nest built unknown


*The two eggs were retrieved in time to continue incubation in a captive breeding center where the new chicks could be cared for by experts and become part of the ultralight-led Class of 2009.

Journal Questions

  • What three methods have increased the number of Whooping cranes in this new flock, begun in 2001 with the first human-assisted migration of an endangered species?