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

Crane # 510

Date Hatched

May 14 , 2005



Date Arrived in Wisconsin

July 6

Weight Aug. 31

Permanent Band Colors
Left Leg:

5.3 Kg

Right Leg:

G/W radio USFWS 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: She worried the trainers at first because she ate and drank water all the time on her own but didn't gain weight or stay properly hydrated. Then she got better. Started circle pen training on June 3, same day as #509. Arrived in Wisconsin on July 6 with the rest of cohort 2. Chicks #509 and #510 needed a little extra coaxing to come out of the new pen on their first day of training after they arrived in Wisconsin, but soon improved. She's a submissive little girl.

On Aug. 5, this cohort had nothing but confusion and chaos during their training session. But on Aug. 6, all of the birds stayed on or really near the runway when they weren't flying, except for #510. The costumed handlers had had to retrieve her from a pool right by the runway, but she came out easily and quickly when the they found her.

The cohort struggled in training for several days. Finally,
on September 9, Cohort 2 had a great day. All 8 birds took off from the runway on the first try and never looked back. They flew for about 15 minutes, and stayed with the pilot for the entire flight!

She is a good flyer, but she can have trouble coming in and out of the pen. She is buddies with #50 and #512.

First Migration South
: Chick #510 left Wisconsin for her first migration on October 14th, 2005. Read day-by-day news about the flock's migration to see what happens.

Here is more about about Chick #510's first migration:

On Day 5, #510 must have wanted a day off from migration. She had to be coaxed out of the pen by Walt, who quickly snuck back into the pen trailer to grab the "swamp monster" cape. With a little help from the scary swamp monster, she charged out of the pen and was soon airborne with Richard and his ultralight!

She landed safely with the flock at the temporary holding site at Halpata Preserve in Marion County, FL on December 13. The cranes will be moved to their final release pen in mid-January after all the older cranes have dispersed from the pen site.

On January 10, Crane #510 made it to the final pen site at Chassahowitzka NWR on day 2 of the pilots' attempts to move the flock. The birds slowly became familiar with the idea of again following the ultralight after a month's vacation. Richard and Brooke managed to get #510 and 5 other birds far enough from the pen that they fell into line and followed the 26 miles. 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.)

Fall 2006: #510 (along with 511, 512, 519 and 307) began migration from Wisconsin's Necedah NW on November 9 and made it to northern Illinois that night. No further reports until January 2, when they were found in Levy County, FL!

Spring 2007: Began migration from Florida's Alachua County on March 27 with #511 and #512. They arrived together at Necedah NWR, on April 1. On July 17 her body was dicoverered in a small wet area of an otherwise dry wetland. She was molting and couldn't fly. Without water to keep predators from reaching her, the flightless crane was killed. Her death was likely around July 7. (Her mate was still in the area, but he often separated from her after she began molting.)

Last updated: 7/23/07


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