Photo: B Clauss, Patuxent WRC
Meet the New 2006 Whooping Crane Chicks!
Hatch-year 2006 of the Eastern Flock

Crane # 622

Date Hatched

May 31 , 2006



Date of Photo: July 19, 06

Egg Source: Calgary Zoo

Permanent Leg Bands

Weight 9/06/06: 5.7 kg
  • Read about the naming system, hatch place in Maryland, release site in Wisconsin, over-wintering site in Florida, and leg-band codes.

Personality and History

Migration Training as a Chick: While #622 was at Patuxent WRC (before he came to Wisconsin for flight school), his caretakers told what he was like: "MEAN! Has always had aggression issues since he was just a little guy. If you break up a fight he's having with one bird, then he will just go after ANY bird he sees. He was so mad that he was even aggressively pecking the costumed handler's puppet head. In the group of five youngest, chick #622 and #618 have had their share of battles, but so far #622 is still the top crane. What can we say about #22 but LOOK OUT WORLD 'CAUSE HERE HE COMES!"

The youngest five cranes had to be kept longer at Patuxent because they had to learn to get along before they come to Wisconsin for flight school. Chick #622 is a big danger to the other chicks. The youngest five (cohort 3) finally arrived in Wisconsin for flight school on July 20!

Being so much younger, #622 often lags behind. Some training sessions all by himself with the pilot and trike gave him more practice flying. By August 17 he was taking short flights.

Tough Guy! Chick #622 didn't mellow. On August 29 he chased off #211, the adult male and new father of the flock's first chicks. The new papa got mad when the ulltralight and some flying chicks buzzed his family during training. He followed the trike-led cohort back to Site 1. Bev said, "Upon landing, Daddy-O took an aggressive stance towards the young 'uns, and boy-oh-boy was he shocked when #622 fought back. I've never seen a more surprised white bird! It was bad enough that #622 stood him down, but then the whole gang got in on the scuffle and chased poor papa away. Way to go Chicklins!"

By mid-September, #622 (along with #618 and #620) was still among the three most aggressive chicks. "He always wants to be the center of attention, says Marie. "He will give the other chicks a good peck if they are getting too close or if they are where he wants to be (around the footbath, costume or feeder)."

First Migration South
: Chick #622 left Wisconsin for his first migration on October 5th, 2006. He flew the whole first leg of the journey and landed safely at Stopover #1! Read day-by-day news about the flock's migration. Here's more news on #622:

October 2006 Photo Operation Migration

Oct 14: To entertain the birds when they were stuck 4 days at Stopover #2, the team gave them some corn cobs. See the photo and Marie's comment about #622!

December 2: He made it over the Cumberland Ridge!

Jan. 12, Moving Day: #622 made it almost half way on the first moving day before landing in the woods. Tracker Stacey found the tired bird. She crated and drove him to join the others where they'd landed short in Citrus County—still 10 miles from the Chass pen. But they were all too tired to try again, so #622 and the others spent the night in a travel pen The next morning brought calm air, clear skies and all 12 birds who didn't cooperate yesterday took off with Joe's plane. Their final flight with the ultralight lasted 18 minutes. They landed at their final winter home at "Chass", where six of the flockmates had arrived the day before.

Feb. 2, 2006: Crane 622 died when violent storms moved through central Florida during the night, killing all 17 chicks in the pen at Chass. Only #615 somehow managed to escape.

Last updated: 2/4/07


Back to "Meet the Flock 2006"

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