Photo: Operation Migration
Meet the Whooping Crane Class of 2004!
Hatch-year 2004 of the Eastern Flock

Crane # 415 (15-04)

Date Hatched

May 16 , 2004



Date Arrived in Wisconsin

June 30, 2004

Permanent Leg Bands
  • Read about the naming system, birth place in Maryland, release site in Wisconsin, over-wintering site in Florida and leg-band codes.

Personality and History

Migration Training: Introduced to the trike at 7-days. Received 7 hrs & 27 min. of aircraft conditioning while at Patuxent WRC. Gets along great with #414 and seems dedicated to the aircraft. Scared of thunderstorms as a little chick. She was the only female in cohort 2. Submissive, but always a great flyer and follower. She sometimes acts the same way with treats that #406 does. She seems too nervous to take them from the puppet, but quickly gobbles them up if they are dropped on the ground.

First Migration South
: One of the seven who flew on day 1.

Spring 2005: Left on first journey north with the group of 11 on 25 March, 2005 after 103 days on wintering grounds. After flying through Georgia and veering as far east as South Carolina, the flock corrected their course, stopping in Indiana before reaching Wisconsin. Still together, the group of 11 entered Wisconsin the evening of April 4. On April 6 the group of 11 split. Chick #415 stayed with 2, 3, 16, 17, 19 and 20 in Dane County, WI. They all finished their migration to Necedah NWR on May 3. She spent much time with sandhill cranes on or in nearby farm fields in Dane County, WI during the summer and fall.

Fall 2005: She was not found in her usual area on Nov. 17, a day when at least 18 whoopers began migration from the area. She was confirmed that night at Jasper-Pulaski SWA in Indiana! She roosted at Hiwassee NWR in TN on Nov. 24 and left on Nov. 25. She passed 3 male flock mates#401, 407 and 408 and roosted at a Georgia location farther south. She was in Madison County, FL on Nov. 26. She moved around, but remained in Madison County locations.

Spring 2006: Began migration on March 25. PTT readings showed she roosted that night in Dooly County, Georgia; on March 26 in Gordon County, Georgia. She crossed Indiana the next 3 days, and completed migration on March 30!

Fall 2006: #415 was last reported in the staging sandhill flock in Adams County, WI during the last week of October. All were gone by November 4 and may have migrated. Transmitter doesn't work so she can't be tracked. A Whooping crane found with wintering sandhill cranes in Madison County, FL during an aerial survey Nov 22 is believed to be 415* as this is her usual wintering area. She was still there the end of December.

Spring 2007: A whooping crane believed to be #415 was last observed
with a small number of sandhills in Hixtown Swamp, Madison County, on February 19.
Her transmitter doesn't work, and she cannot be tracked. No further reports have been received, but she is expected to be back in Wisconsin.

Fall 2007: Began migration from Columbia County, Wisconsin, after November 16.
Her transmitter no longer works and she cannot be tracked. Reported in Ewing
Bottoms, Jackson County, Indiana, on November 24 and 25. A bird with no
signal was observed at Hiwassee WR in Tennessee on November 28 may have been #415. Next she was confirmed with #505 in Meigs County, Tennessee, on December 2. They were still there the end of December.

April 30 nest check: eggshell fragments only

Richard Urbanek, ICF

Spring 2008: Female #415 (with male #505) began migration from Hiwassee WR in Meigs County, TN sometime between February 28 and March 2. They remained with migrating sandhills in Jackson County, Indiana, at least through March 18. The pair was back at Necedah NWR March 27. In April they were nesting, but by April 30 the nest had failed. The pair was seen foraging away from the nest area, and a nest check found only eggshell bits. Sara said, "It's not surprising; this pair just formed this winter and neither bird had previous nesting experience."

Fall 2008: She was seen walking abnormally on Nov. 5. During an unsuccessful capture attept on Nov. 13, handlers saw a fishing line or similar debris tangled on and dragging from her left leg, interfering with her movements. She and mate #505 were still in Wisconsin in mid-November, but they successfully migrated south. They were confirmed in Meigs County, Tennessee.

Spring 2009: On March 8 female #415 and mate #505 left a migration stop in Jackson County, Indiana, where they'd been since March 5. They were the first whooper sightings reported for the spring 2009 migration. The pair was next reported in White County, Indiana, on March 12 and 13. By April 2 they were already observed incubating on a nest on their usual territory in Wsconsin at Necedah NWR! (The nest failed.) The pair remained in the core area all summer.

Fall 2009: Pair #415 and #505 disappeared from the Necedah NWR at the end of October, likely starting migration. They were found at Armstrong Bend, Meigs County, Tennessee, on December13.

Spring 2010: Crane #415 (with #505) was reported in Lawrence County, Indiana, on February 26 - March 8. Both have nonfunctional transmitters. They were reported back on Necedah NWR on April 1 or 2 and already had an active nest by that time. The nest failed but a rescued egg was sent to Patuxent WRC in Maryland where it hatched on May 4 into female chick #3-10, a member of the ultralight Class of 2010!

Fall 2010: Migrated south with mate #505 to the pair's usual winter territory at Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge in Tennessee.

Spring 2011: Departed on migration from Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge in Tennessee in mid February with #505 and young #21-10 (DAR). They were next reported Feb. 26 in Hardin County, Kentucky and March 1 in Jackson County, Indiana. They made the final legs of their journey during the second week of March to arrive on Necedah NWR March 11. Pair #505 and #415 were sitting on a nest and incubating on April 10. Their nest failed April 29, and two fertile, viable eggs were collected. Both hatched in captivity and one egg became chick #9-11 in the Class of 2011. The other became a member of the new nonmigratory Louisiana flock.

Fall 2010: Migrated south with #505 to Meigs County, Tennessee.

Spring 2012: Pair #415 and #505 had completed migration back to Necedah NWR by March 14. They had a nest by April 17, but it failed on April 21. No chicks for this pair in summer 2012.

Fall 2012:

Spring 2013: Female #415 (with mate #505) arrived back on the nesting grounds of Necedah NWR in Wisconsin on March 29. When she was not observed after May 11, trackers suspected she had died because a single bird (her mate) was observed on territory on May 14, and he was confirmed alone on their territory on June 21. All summer her mate had been consistently been observed on the pair's old territory, but with a new female. in September, trackers presumed #415 was dead and removed her from the flock's population totals.


Last updated: 9/03/13



Back to "Meet the Flock 2004"

Journey North is pleased to feature this educational adventure made possible by the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership (WCEP).