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

DAR 32-05: "Waldo"

Date Hatched at ICF
(egg from Patuxent WRC)




Date Released in Wisconsin

October 27, 2005

Permanent Band Colors
Left Leg:

G/W radio USFWS bands

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

Personality and History

Baby #532 Photo ICF

Migration Training: He was hatched at ICF from an egg laid at Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Maryland. The biologists who raised him there called him Waldo. He 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: 6.4 kg on Oct. 22. He has been hanging out with other whooping cranes, sandhill cranes and DAR chicks on the refuge and nearby areas.

All 4 DAR chicks in the night pen after the 3 girls had their leg bands placed on them
Photos Marianne Wellington, ICF
#32-05 in a puddle


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 Day 2, #32-05 (with DAR #28-05 and #33-05) again joined sandhill cranes and flew all the way to Hiwassee NWR in Tennessee--each arriving separately with a sandhill flock, but on the same day as their flock mates led by ultralights! (Chick #32-05 was second of the three to reach Hiwassee.) He resumed migration again Nov. 30. He has not been located since then, and tracking aircraft have not been available to complete a search of sandhill crane wintering areas where he might be found.

January 31, 2006: DAR Chick #32-05 is found! Tracker Lara Fondow and a helper found him on a ranch in Osceola County, Florida. On Feb.1 he was observed with small numbers of nonmigratory sandhill cranes in a wetland on the ranch.

Spring 2006: He was no longer on his wintering spot when checked on March 23. He began migration between 8 and 23 March. He was not tracked, and no reports were received during migration. His radio signals were detected on May 4 at home in central Wisconsin (Jackson County). He remained in that general location one more day before disappearing again until his arrival on Necedah NWR on May 18 with two sandhills. Soon he joined #403 and #412.

DAR #32-05 in his winter home in Osceola County, FL

Photos R. Urbanek, FWS
DAR #32-05 with Sandhill cranes at Wisconsin's Necedah NWR on May 18, 2006.
DAR #32-05 with #403 and #412 in Wisconsin on May 18, 2006.

Fall 2006: 32-05 (DAR) left Wisconsin on Nov. 19 with #216 and #516. They made it that night to SE Indiana. Last detected in flight in Dixie County, FL Nov. 22 and not seen again until February 9, 2007. Crane 32-05 (DAR) was located in Florida during an aerial search. He was in a flock of about 25 apparently nonmigratory Sandhills cranes in a cattle feedlot and near to human activity. A local resident said he'd been there for about a month. (It would be safer for him if he would avoid humans.)

Spring 2007: Confirmed back on Necedah NWR in Wisconsin on March 23. On July 31, his body was discovered on the edge of a dried-up pond. He likely was killed by a predator sometime in the first two weeks of July.

Last updated: 8/01/07

Back to "Meet the Flock 2005"

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