Meet the New 2005 Whooping Crane Chicks!
Hatch-year 2005 of the Eastern Flock

Crane # 507

Date Hatched

May 4 , 2005



Date Arrived in Wisconsin

June 15

Weight Aug. 31

Permanent Band Colors
Left Leg:

G/W radio USFWS bands

6.0 Kg

Right Leg:



  • 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: In her first days, trainer Mark Nipper said, "#507 is a little, well 'crazy' is the only way to put it. This little one runs around her pen screaming more than anything else. The poor little bird is healthy enough, she just needs time to calm down a bit." Trainers got her to eat and drink a little more and thought that would calm her. "There are always birds that are scared, angry, or just plain nuts, but they all figure it out eventually," said Mark. Chicks #505, 506 and 507 were the first group of birds behaved well enough to train together in their first weeks. Mark said, "They are funny little birds. Dominance in this group seems to change every day. They follow the trike pretty well for most of the time." She doesn't readily back down to the more aggressive #506.

She was shipped to Necedah NWR in Wisconsin on June 15 with the rest of cohort #1. On July 9 she was left in the pen during training due to a toe injury.
Cohort 1 was doing great until about mid-September, when they went through a bit of regression after the health checks. On September 9, all the birds except one tried to leave the pilot at some point during the training flight. The pilots hope the chicks will be excited to follow the trike again soon.

She is generally a good flyer, but will follow buddy #506 back to the runway during training flights. Very submissive, and the lowest bird on the dominance scale. She Also acts submissively to handlers, not always pecking at the bill of the puppets.

First Migration South
: Chick #507 left Wisconsin for his first migration on October 14th, 2005. Read day-by-day news about the flock's migration to see what happens.

Here is more news about Crane #507's first migration:

On day 2 of the migration, #507 (and #512) turned back to the launch area. They were crated and traveled by van to the new stopover site in Juneau County, WI. She was a real trooper the rest of the migration, and never made any trouble.

On Dec. 13, #507 landed safely with the 19-bird flock at the holding pen at Halpata Preserve. The cranes will be moved 26 miles to their final release pen at Chassahowitzka NWR ("Chass") in mid-January after all the older cranes have dispersed from the release pen.

The pilots and ultralights tried to move the birds on January 9. Crane #507 made it to Chass on the third day of trying, January 11. HOME for the winter!

Spring 2006: Began first spring migration from the "Chass" pen site March 28 with all flock members except 520. This flock of 18 split at roost time on March 28, and fourteen juveniles (501, 502, 503, 505, 506, 507, 508, 509, 510, 512, 514, 519, 523, and 524) stayed together. They probably roosted near the confluence of Turner, Crisp and Wilcox Counties in Georgia. They didn't move the next day. On March 30 they resumed migration and roosted in Hamilton County, TN. The next roosting place was March 31 in Spence County, KY; April 1 in Jefferson County, IN; April 2 and 3 in DuPage County, IL; April 4 in McHenry County, IL. (past Chicago). They are determined to get back to Wisconsin! They flew two days in rain, and in stong headwinds on April 4. On April 5 they resumed migration, stopping in Sauk County, WI--just short of Necedah NWR! Tracker Richard Urbanek was monitoring them the morning of April 6 when they took off. They completed spring migration as they passed the SW corner of Necedah NWR just after noon. (They kept going! They landed, foraged, and roosted that night in nearby Trempealeau County, WI.) In the summer she wandered with some flock mates. She later moved to an area of IOWA, along with #502 and #503.

Fall 2006: Began migration from Winnebago County, Iowa on October 31 with #502 and #503. On Nov. 6, less than a week later, they had successfully migrated to Florida! This was the first unassisted fall migration for these birds.

Spring 2007: Began migration from FL on March 18 (with #502 and #503). They were in Tennessee on 20 March (PTT), and in Jackson County, Indiana the next day. They remained there at least through 27 March. A low precision PTT reading for 502 indicated the group may have roosted in southwestern Michigan on April 1. By April 5 they had arrived back in Dodge County, Wisconsin. She and #503 were last recorded on May 26. They were not found in Iowa or southwestern Wisconsin during an aerial search on October 11, 2007.

Fall 2007: They were still missing by the end of December.

Spring 2008: On April 20 the remains of #503 and #507 were found in Wood County, Wisconsin. Radiosignals of the two birds had been detected April 7. The mortality site was only 0.5 miles from where the pair had been last been observed in May 2007, an indication that death happened shortly after that observation, and the faint signals from the inundated transmitters had escaped detection.

Last updated: 4/21/08


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