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

DAR 28-05: "Poe"

Date Hatched at ICF



in June 2017, WCEP experts questioned the accuracy of this crane's gender identification. Stay tuned.

Date Released in Wisconsin

October 27, 2005

Permanent Band Colors
Left Leg:

G/W radio

Right Leg: PTT
 USFWS bands  
  • Read about the naming system, release site in Wisconsin, over-wintering site in Florida and leg-band codes.

Personality and History: Scroll Down for Most Current

Migration Training: She was hatched at ICF and named "Poe." She was transferred to the Necedah NWR at 1 month of age. Marianne Wellington is a chick-rearing specialist who wore a costume and raised the 4 DAR chicks there. They fledged (had all their flight feathers and could fly) when they were around 70 days old. Unlike their cousins for the ultralight-led migration, the DAR chicks roamed freely on the refuge. Marianne and other costumed parents checked on them many times each day. At night until they're released, the chicks are safe in a big pen with a pond and a net over the top. Weight: 6.3 kg on Oct. 22. She has been hanging out with other whooping cranes, sandhill cranes and DAR chicks on the refuge and nearby areas.

All 4 DAR chicks hanging out with a sandhill and #212 in a marsh a Necedah NWR
Photos Marianne Wellington, ICF
#28-05 in the marsh


Fall 2005--First Migration South as a Direct Release Bird
:All four DAR birds began migration Nov. 24 from Necedah NWR, leaving at 10:33 AM. They took off together with +50 sandhill cranes. Taking advantage of a strong tailwind, these birds soon outdistanced the tracking team. Trackers heard no signals the rest of Day 1. On Nov. 25, Day 2, DAR 28-05 (with #32-05 and #33-05) again joined sandhill cranes and flew all the way to Hiwassee NWR in Tennessee. Each of the whooper chicks arrived separately with a different sandhill flocks.

Poe (DAR 28-05) was last of the three to reach Hiwassee on Nov. 25. Tracker Stacie and pilot Charles Koehler had been looking for her from their small plane. There she was, flying in a "V" formation with more than 50 sandhill cranes! In the next few miles, the birds would have to climb nearly 2,000 feel to clear the highest ridge before reaching the haven of Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge in Tennessee. She looked very tired. The pilot said, "She was obviously sucking air. Every time we saw her, she was farther back in the V. The last time I saw the formation she was only six birds from the end." For over an hour the pilot circled over the dark ridge line while Tracie monitored her progress by listening to #27-05's radio signals. Whether on her own, or clinging to the "V," Poe made it over the mountains and landed at the refuge. HOORAY! Amazingly, these three DAR chicks arrived at the halfway point on the same day as their flock mates led by ultralights! DAR Chicks #27-05 and #28-05 remained in the large sandhill flocks on or near Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge.

#528 on April 24, 2006

Richard Urbanek

Spring 2006: Began migration from Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge in Tennessee on February 26! She was with DAR female #27-05. PTT readings showed they roosted that night in Kentucky. They were in northwestern Indiana by 28 February. Then the two eventually split from each other. Chick #28-05 joined with migrating sandhill cranes and stayed in the area. She resumed migration on March 30 and arrived at Green Lake County, Wisconsin on April 3. She was the FIRST of the four DAR chicks to return! She stayed there until making the flight to Necedah NWR on April 23. She returned to the exact site where she was reared last summer! She wandered and then spent most of the summer with a sandhill crane flock in Marathon County, WI.

Fall 2006: Still in Marathon County, WI as of Nov. 18. In Jasper county, IN on Nov. 25. Remained with about 100 sandhill cranes in northwest Tennessee.

Spring 2007: Confirmed back on Necedah NWR in Wisconsin on March 23.

Fall 2007: Began migration from Wisconsin on November 22. Found on Hiwassee WR in Tennessee on December 1 and was still there at the end of December.

Spring 2008: DAR 28-05 was reported with migrating sandhills in Jackson County, Indiana, from March 13 until she resumed migration March 16 or 17. She was reported in Wisconsin's Clark County on April 2 , and in Marathon County April 5. Home!

Fall 2008: Reported with large numbers of Sandhill cranes in Wood County, WI on October 7. Confirmed at Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge on November 27, but her transmitter was not working. She was confirmed on her wintering area in Meigs County, Tennessee, on February 5.

Spring 2009: First home! Early Bird DAR 28-05 was reported with four sandhill cranes in Dodge County, Wisconsin, on March 8! By March 23 she was reported on her usual summering area in Marathon County, Wisconsin.

Fall 2009: She migrated and wintered as usual in Meigs County, Tennessee.

Spring 2010: Crane 28-05 (DAR) was reported with migrating sandhills northwest of White County, Tennessee on February 6 and 14. She was reported with migrating sandhills S of the Jasper-Pulaski FWA, Indiana, on March 9. She was confirmed back on her usual Wisconsin summer territory March 17.

Fall 2010: No. 28-05* (DAR) apparently departed from Jackson County, Indiana, on November 28. She was reported on her usual wintering area at Hiwassee WR, Meigs County, Tennessee, on December 2.

Spring 2011: Migrating female 28-05 (DAR) was reported in Montgomery County, Indiana, on March 1 and 2. She was reported on her summering territory Marathon County, Wisconsin on March 24.

Fall 2011: No. 28-05* (DAR) spent the first part of the winter in Jackson County, IN and then moved to Greene County, Indiana.

Spring 2012: Arrived back at her summering territory in Marathon County, Wisconsin by mid March, where she remained with sandhill cranes for the rest of the summer.

Fall 2012: No. 28-05* (DAR) migrated south by late November. She was reported at the Jasper-Pulaski FWA in Jasper County, Indiana, on Nov. 25 but continued south to Hiwassee WR in TEnnessee, where she arrived by late December.

Spring 2013: Crane #528 (28-05) completed migration on April 2. She was photographed 245 miles to the north on January 20, 2013 in Indiana among many sandhill cranes as well as in flight (below). Tracker Eva said, It looks like she has started spring migration!" She has a nonfunctional transmitter and doesn't generally hang out with other whoopers, so it was great to see her back! On April 24 she was positively identifed at a location in Marathon County, Wisconsin.

#28-05among sandhill cranes on her wintering grounds

#28-05 in flight on the wintering grounds

Jim Anno


Fall 2013: Crane #28-05 DAR wintered at the Hiwassee WR in Tennessee with many other whooping and sandhill cranes.

Spring 2014: Crane #28-05 DAR was reported in Jackson County, Indiana, on March 10-12. She was next reported in Jasper County, Indiana, on March 23.

Fall 2014: Crane #28-05 DAR began migration from Marathon County, WI on Nov. 3 and wintered as usual at the Hiwassee WR in Tennessee.

Spring 2015: Crane #28-05 DAR moved in late January from her wintering area in Meigs County, TN to southern Indiana. She stayed there until mid-March and was first seen back in Marathon County, WI on March 24, 2015. She was alone on territory for the rest of the spring and summer.

Fall 2015: She was first seen on her wintering grounds in Jackson County, IN on January 3, 2016.

Spring 2016: Female #28-05 began moving north in early March and was seen in LaPorte County, IN on March 6th. By April she was back in Marathon County, WI. She was soon seen sitting on a nest, but no other Whooping Cranes were ever seen in the area. She was seen alone in Marathon County for the rest of the spring and summer.

Fall 2016: Female #28-05 DAR migrated to Jasper County, Indiana.

Spring 2017: Female #28-05 DAR migrated back to Marathon County, Wisconsin by March 19th and was with female #2-15. In a surprising turn of events, these two females were seen sitting on a nest in Marathon Co. when Wisconsin DNR pilot Beverly Paulan spotted them on May 12! The team commented on this anomalous behavior and offered that either one of the genders is inaccurate, OR  these two (female) cranes are incubating infertile/un-viable eggs, OR a nearby bachelor male paid a visit. In June, the WCEP team members speculated that one or the other of them may not be female after all, with gender being wrongly identified from the beginning, but they did not reach agreement on this. The nest was checked five days after hatching was due, and the eggs were gone. Perhaps, after all, they were just two females practicing nesting and incubation. (?)


Last updated: 6/9/17

Back to "Meet the Flock 2005"

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