Meet the New 2007 Whooping Crane Chicks!
Hatch-year 2007 of the Eastern Flock

Crane # 727

Date Hatched

May 27, 2007



Egg Source: ACRES Louisiana

Permanent Leg Bands

Weight 09/05/07:
5.5 kilograms

Left Leg Right Leg
  • 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: #727 was EXTREMELY aggressive at first. For a time, she attacked anything that moved. Fortunately she later calmed down. She was not a good follower in early training. She came to Wisconsin in cohort 3, the group of 4 youngest chicks that arrived July 18. By July 31 she could fly in ground effect for short distances. That means she's ALMOST flying, trying hard to keep up in leaps and bounds.

Chicks #735, #726 and #727 trained together on Aug. 22.
Photo OM

By mid August, #727 could fly the length of the runway, but seemed to reach a temporary plateau in her progress. She and #726 received off-ground flight training and some exercise for a short time before the cohort's two younger birds were let out of the pen to join them. Then she got better and flew circuits with pal #726.

Chick #727 is not afraid to stand up to the two adults (pair 211 and 217) that visit the runway. The adults show aggressive displays, but chicks 727 and pal 733 are bold enough to fly at the adults with necks stretched out and beaks snapping. The adults get out of their way! (The pilots try to get between the aggressors so the birds don't hurt one another.)

First Migration South: Chick #727 left Wisconsin for his first migration on October 13th, 2007. She flew the whole first leg of the journey and landed safely at Stopover #1! Find day-by-day news about the flock's migration and read more about #727 below.

Oct. 23, Day 11: After 10 days grounded by weather, the birds got to fly today. But 727 was still reluctant about following and dropped out short of Stopover #2. Tracking in his van, Charlie couldn't get a good signal because she'd fly, land, fly again, land again. . .so the pilots flew circles in the area to find her. Joe spotted 727 in a small mowed pasture surrounded on all four sides by forest. (No wonder Charlie couldn’t see her!) "Apparently she had flown down into this clearing in the woods, but didn’t have the energy to take-off and fly back out," said Charlie. He hiked in, crated the bird, and drove her to the stopover site in his van.

Oct 25, Day 13: #727 gave up after 10 minutes of flight and landed in a field. Megan found her, boxed her up and drove her to the new stopover site.

Oct 28, Day 16: #727 dropped out and was retrieved and boxed up by Megan to finish the trip to Green County by road.

Nov. 1, Day 20: This is the first time 727 has competed a leg and not been crated! She flew across the border and into Illinois!

Nov. 9, Day 28: Just as they gained enough altitude to fly in smooth air, 727 set her wings and was looking for a place to land. Flying chase behind Richard, Chris gave chase to pick her up, but she landed anyway. As Brian moved in on the ground to capture her, #727 took to the air and flew over the road to land again. So Chris again gave chase when she became airborne once more. Eventually Chris landed and stayed with her. Brian soon had her boxed and loaded into the tracking van for the road trip to the new stopover.

Nov. 10, Day 29: She took off with Joe and 15 others for a great flight. But just 10 miles from landing at today's destination, #727 fell back off Joe’s wing. Brooke moved in and she joined with him to finish the flight next to his wing.

Dec. 12, Day 61: It was a no-fly day, but a day for exercise. After flying in the misty air and running around in the rain, it was time for the birds to go back into the pen. Thirteen went in, but four were holdouts—including #727. The four would not budge. Just when the costumes thought they got one headed the right direction, the bird would spin away and run back to join the others, like a game of tag in the rain!

Dec. 29, Day 68: Crane #727 was the only one that didn’t make the journey over the Cumberland Ridge by air. She was refusing to climb and eventually landed in a nearby woods. Brooke and the ground crew retrieved her from the woods and led her back to the pen. As 727 seemed reluctant to fly, they put her in a crate and drove her to the next destination.

Jan. 28, 2008: Migration complete!

Spring 2008, First Journey North: On April 1 the last five members (727, 733, 712, 713, and 706) of the Class of 2007 began migration from the release site in Florida. They encountered a thunderstorm in late afternoon, shifted westward, and landed to roost in Leon County, Florida on the first night of their journey north. They continued on April 2 until afternoon showers made them drop out early.  Four of them landed in Stewart County, Georgia. Unfortunately, 727 dropped out in Randolph County, Georgia about 6 miles south from the other four. On April 3 she continued migration but her signal was lost. On Apr. 8 tracker Eva picked up her signal, flying in the from southeast! Eva and Anna tracked #727 to her roosting location that night in Trousdale County, TN. She took off the next morning (Apr. 9) despite clouds and rain. The rain became too much and she landed just 2 hours later in Robertson County, TN. She continued migration April 10 under cloudy skies with a strong tail wind until a large band of thunderstorms eventually grounded her at 3:15. She landed in a flooded cornfield in Sullivan County, Indiana, where she remained at least through April 14. Read tracker Anna Fasoli's detailed description. On May 9-10 she was reported on a pond in Greene County, Indiana. By May 14 she moved to Vermilion County, Illinois, where she remained until May 26. She was next reported at an overnight stop on a golf course in Will County, Illinois, on June 1, and left the following morning. She was the only 2007 ultralight-led crane that did not return to the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge for the summer.

On September 7-8 she was reported with two sandhill cranes in Marshall County in north-central Indiana. She had been boxed up and driven in a van during most of the Wisconsin portion of the 2007 ultralight-led migration and missed flying much of the northern part of the migration route.

Fall 2008: She was reported alone in Spencer County, Indiana, on January 25 and 27, 2009. No further reports. She had last been observed with three Sandhill cranes during a tracking flight north of Grayson County, Kentucky, on Dec. 2.

Spring 2009: Reported leaving Jackson Co, Indiana on Feb. 24, where she had been with Sandhill cranes for the previous 10 days. On March 7, a reported Whooping crane in Starke County, Indiana — with a partial band combination matching hers — may have been #727. This crane did not return to Wisconsin last year. She spent much of the spring/summer in Illinois and Indiana (see above). But this year she found her way home! She is currently in Winnebago County, Wisconsin with sandhill cranes. Her identity was confirmed on March 28, thanks to a public sighting report and photograph. Welcome back, #727! Now let's hope she finds some whoopers to be with.

Fall 2009: She was reported in a Sandhill crane staging (gathering) area in Indiana at the beginning of October. On Dec. 12 she was with sandhill cranes in Brown County, Indiana. She made it to Florida where she was reported with sandhill cranes in Madison County, on January 24 and 25.

Spring 2010: She was still on her Florida wintering grounds Feb. 16 but gone by March 4. Is she migrating? Yes, and trackers were thrilled to report that she returned to Necedah! She was heard and seen flying around the Necedah area on April 18th. "This is the first time she has returned to Necedah NWR since she left in the fall of 2007 with the ultralight airplanes," exclaimed Eva, who hopes this female is "snatched up by one of our single male cranes." Crane #723 was detected in Winnebago County, WI, on April 26 and 27 and Sara said, "This is where she spent some time last spring before heading back south to Indiana." What will this female crane do next? No. 27-07* was reported in Indiana's Kosciusko County in September and October.

Fall 2010: Female 27-07 was reported with sandhill cranes near LaPorte County, Indiana, on November 27 and 28 and apparently gone by November 29. She was was reported with sandhill cranes in Jasper County, Indiana on December 10 and remained in the area at least through last report on December 29. A whooping crane seen in the same area on January 20 could have been her. Trackers suspect her transmitter doesn't work.

Spring 2011: Female #727 was last reported with sandhill cranes on her usual summering area in Kosciusko County, Indiana on the evening of March 13, 2011. Trackers suspect that her transmitter quit working.

Fall 2011: Female #727 still had not been located.

Spring 2012: Missing female #727 is presumed dead and has been removed from the population totals.

Last updated: April 2013


Back to "Meet the Flock 2007"


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