Meet the New 2007 DAR Whooping Crane Chicks!

Photo: Danielle Desourdis, USFWS Intern

Crane #37-07 DAR

Date Hatched

May 27, 2007



Weight: 6.2 kg

Egg Source: ICF

Permanent Leg Bands:

Left Leg:


Right Leg:


Personality and History

After hatching at ICF, this chick was nicknamed "Lathe" by caretakers, but his real and only official name is DAR 37-07. He is a strong male who took over the dominant role from #36-07.

He was released on Necedah NWR the evening of Oct. 30 together with DAR 40-07, 42-07, and 44-07. DAR #37-07 and DAR #42-07 flew to roost on the north Sandhill roost, and he is having fun flying around the refuge and nearby areas.

DAR chicks #37-07, 39-07, 40-07, 42-07, 43-07, and 44-07 roosted with adult #102 on the night of Nov. 5. That's a good sign that maybe they'll follow her south!

First Migration South
: Nov. 6, 2007: The group of 6 DAR chicks joined Whooping Cranes #309 and 403 and sandhill cranes at another spot on Necedah NWR. Several other adult Whooping Cranes and about 200 sandhill cranes were also nearby. And then the 6 young DAR birds did a surprising thing: they began migration, all by themselves and with no adult whooper or sandhill crane to lead the way! The chicks took off in 20 mph NNW winds under partly cloudy skies. They flew south 214 miles and landed to roost in a small pond in a harvested cornfield in Peoria County, Illinois. (See their map.) They were not with other cranes. What will happen next?

On December 11, 2007, the six off-course cranes were captured and moved to Tennessee by the ICF tracking team so the birds could more easily find adult cranes to follow south. DAR 37-07, 42-07, and 44-07 remained in the area around Meigs County, Tennessee, in great habitat for cranes.

Spring 2008 and First Unassisted Migration North: Male #37-07 began migration March 16 from his wintering grounds in Meigs Co, Tennessee along with DAR 39-07, 42-07, 43-07, 44-07, and 46-07. They made good progress, roosting for one night in Adair County, Kentucky and then resuming migration the next day to Clark County, Indiana (they were not with sandhill cranes when seen here). On March 21, they continued migration to Fayette County, Indiana. PTT data (satellite data) for DAR 39-07, 44-07, and 46-07 indicated they finally moved again on April 16. The group proceeded to Tuscola County, Michigan. They were still there as of mid May, although some members of the group briefly wandered away and returned. On June 2 trackers traveled to the cranes' location to try to capture them all and bring them back to Necedah NWR in Wisconsin with other members of the new Eastern flock. Only one crane, #37-07, was successfully captured and he's now back at Necedah NWR. Will this convince him to migrate back to Wisconsin next spring?

Fall 2008: Successfully migrated south to his previous wintering area in Meigs County, Tennessee. Still there on March 8, 2009, so he has apparently decided this is his favorite wintering place. It's a good choice!

Spring 2009: DAR 37-07 (with 105, 501 and 506) was confirmed by radio signal near Armstrong Bend, Tennessee on March 8. No further reports of DAR 37-07 on spring migration but he was confirmed in northeastern Jackson County, Michigan, on June 14. He remained there all summer and did not return to Wisconsin.

Fall 2009: DAR 37-07 (DAR) was still seen in Jackson County, Michigan, on November 17 and November 28. An unconfirmed report of a Whooping crane in Jackson Co, Michigan, on 7 December may have been of this crane. By early January he was reported at his normal wintering grounds on Hiwassee State Refuge in Miegs County, Tennessee.

Spring 2010: Still in Tennessee as of April 7. . . but 37-07 (DAR) was seen on the morning of April 12 back in his Jackson County, Michigan summer location, quickly completing his migration. He was still there in June. He favors Michigan over Wisconsin for his summer territory.

Fall 2010: Male #37-07 (DAR) remained in Jackson County, Michigan at least through the morning of November 28. He arrived at Hiwassee WR, Meigs County, Tennessee, between 6 and 10 December.

Spring 2011: A Whooping crane reported in Jackson County, Michigan on March 29 was confirmed on April 20 as being #37-07 (DAR).

Fall 2011: He migrated south and spent winter at his usual area on Hiwassee NWR in Tennessee.

Spring 2012: He migrated back to his summer location in Michigan.

Fall 2012: News of #37-07 DAR came from a Michigan citizen in October when the bird was seen in Shiawassee County, Michigan, with a small flock of sandhill cranes. "He looks very healthy and well," wrote the observer. He migrated back to his wintering location at the Hiwassee WR in Tennessee and started associating with female #23-10 after the death of male #21-10.

Spring 2013: He began spring migration from Tennessee with female #23-10 and the two were reported in Scott County, Indiana, on March 27. They continued mgration from this point, but soon split. Male 37-07 was reported in Isabella County, Michigan on April 23, this time with male #38-09 (who split from female 34-09 earlier this spring).

Fall 2013: Male #37-07 wintered at the Hiwassee WR in Tennessee with many other Whooping and Sandhill cranes. He was often seen with breeding pair #5-10 and #28-08.

Spring 2014: Crane 37-07 DAR began migration with pair # 5-10/#28-08 from their wintering area at the Hiwassee WR in Tennessee on 21/22 February. They were reported in Jackson County, Indiana, on the evening of Feb 22nd and stayed until March 21, when they apparently left this area (a signal for #5-10 was detected heading north. Male #37-07 has a nonfunctional transmitter and thrilled WCEP team when he finally showed up on Necedah NWR in Wisconsin on July 11—the first observation of him in Wisconsin this year, and the first time he has returned to Wisconsin on his own!

Fall 2014: Crane 37-07 DAR was captured September 11 for transmitter replacement. A brief health check was performed too. Notice the hood over the crane's head/eyes during the exam. They looked especially at #37-07's beak, which has a slight deformity. Captures help biologists keep records of these abnormalities and they are able to monitor them over time. They also check the condition of the wing feathers. "This helps us get a better understanding if the bird has recently molted or not," explains ICF's Eva Szyszkoski. "Birds with clean, intact feathers may have molted that year while birds with ratty, dirty feathers probably have not. Whooping cranes do a complete molt every 2-3 years, meaning that they lose all their flight feathers all at once. This is a dangerous time for them since they are completely flightless for about 6 weeks. They need to be in an area with stable water conditions so they can remain safe from predators." Eva took these photos on September 11, 2014:

Crane #37-07's beak has always had a slight deformity.

Crnaee #37-07's feather condition is checked on September 11, 2014.

Crane 37-07 DAR began fall migration from the Necedah area on Nov. 5 and spent winter at Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge in Tennessee.

Spring 2015: Male 37-07 DAR left his wintering grounds in early March and was first reported at necedah NWR in Wisconsin on March 31. He did not nest this spring, but spent some time alone and some time with other Whooping Cranes.

Fall 2015: Crane 37-07 DAR migrated south to Alabama's Wheeler NWR.

Spring 2016: Crane 37-07 DAR returned north to Juneau County, Wisconsin and spent summer there.

Fall 2016: He was stll in Juneau County, WI with female PR #20-14 as of Dec. 4. The pair then migrated to wintering grounds in Jackson County, Alabama.

Spring 2017: Male 37-07 DAR and mate PR #20-14 returned to Juneau County, Wisconsin, built a nest (she is only three years old!) and became parents on June 8 to W15-17, the first chick hatched to a parent-reared (PR) Whooping Crane!

Parent-reared mom 20-14, dad 37-07 and new chick W15-17, first chick hatched to a parent reared whooper!
Beverly Paulan, Wisconsin DNR Pilot

In sad news, male #37-07 DAR's mate (PR20-14) was killed by a predator around July 3; The pair's chick, W15-17, was still alive and well as of July 6, 2017. Dad is left to do his best to protect and raise the chick, but the chick was not seen on the Juy 18 aerial survey.

Last Updated: 7/19/17


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