Meet the New 2007 DAR Whooping Crane Chicks!

Photo: Danielle Desourdis, USFWS Intern

Crane #42-07 DAR

Date Hatched

June 8, 2007



Weight: 4.7 kg

Egg Source: ACRES

Permanent Leg Bands:

Left Leg:


Right Leg:


Personality and History

After hatching at ICF, this chick was nicknamed "Plumb-bob" by caretakers, but her real and only official name is DAR 41-07. She seemed short and sqat, almost bowlegged, as she started growing. She was low girl on the totem pole. She used to be aggressive but she got VERY scared one night. Marianne thinks that a bear might have come around and terrified her.

DAR 41-07 was released on October 30 on Necedah NWR along with DAR 37-07, 40-07, and 44-07. She flew with #37-07 to roost on the north Sandhill roost on her first night of freedom.

DAR chicks #42-07, 39-07, 37-07, 40-07, 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.

Nov. 29 in Illinois. Click to enlarge.

Photo Richard Urbanek
ICF Tracking Team

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. They resumed migration Dec. 5 after their roost pond became frozen. With tailwinds, they flew 167 miles and landed to roost in Clinton County, Illinois. (See their map.)

On December 11, 2007, the six off-course cranes were captured and moved to Tennessee by the ICF tracking teamso they could more easily find adult cranes to follow south. DAR 42, 37, and 44 remains in the area around Meigs County,

Spring 2008 and First Unassisted Migration North: Began migration March 16 from her wintering grounds in Meigs Co, Tennessee along with DAR 37-07, 39-07, 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. On March 21st, 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 for several weeks. 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 Wisconsin. Only one crane, #37-07, was successfully captured and returned. The tracking team returned June 10 and caught 42-07 and 2 others and brought them back to Wisconsin! She wandered all summer, and spent time in southeastern Minnesota. PTT readings in September showed she was still there, along with males #703 and 707, and female 39-07 (DAR).

Fall 2008: DAR #42-07's group headed south Nov. 15 from Minnesota. A high-precision PTT reading for DAR female #39-07 ( in the Minnesota group with #707, 703 and DAR 42-07) indicated a migration stop near St. Clair County, Illinois, on the night of November 16. This group wintered in Lowndes County, Georgia.

Spring 2009: PTT data from DAR 39-07 (and presumably her group with #703, 707, and DAR 42-07) put her (and probably the others) in Madison County, Alabama on the night of March 19 and in Marshall County, Kentucky on the night of March 22 as they migrated north. She was confirmed back in Wisconsin by March 26-27. In May, the "mystery bird" often seen flying with DAR #42-07 was finally identified. When the two birds moved onto a private cranberry farm, Eva and Sara got permission to come onto the farm. The two birds were standing in one of the cranberry beds. Observing from a distance, Eva could read the color bands on the mystery bird and identify him as #316. It is exciting that these birds have become a pair.

Fall 2009: Female DAR 42-07 remained in the core area with #316 until late September when their pair bond ended. Then she began associating with DAR 27-06 in early October. The newly formed pair remained at Quincy Bluff in Adams County, Wisconsin, thoughout October. She was reported in Dane County, Wisconsin, from November 15-25 with 27-06 (DAR) and #524. They were no longer at this location on November 26 and completed their migration in Morgan County, Alabama.

Spring 2010: Crane 42-07 (DAR) began migration from Alabama with male 27-06 (DAR) and #524 after March 6. She and #524 were found back in Adams County during an aerial survey on April 5.

Fall 2010: 42-07 (DAR) and #524 were confirmed at their wintering area on Wheeler NWR, Morgan County, Alabama, on November 29.

Spring 2011: 42-07 (DAR) and #524 were observed in flight on the morning of March 3 and did not return to their winter location. They were back in Adams County, Wisconsin by March 21. The pair nested for the first time and began incubating on April 24. The nest failed on April 29 but two fertile, viable eggs were collected.

Death: Sad news came on June 13 when the carcasses of this breeding pair were found on their Adams County territoryby ICF Field Ecology Intern Mike Wheeler. Both carcasses were sent to the USGS National Wildlife Heath Center in Madison, Wisc. for necropsy. The suspected cause of death for the female was septicemia, and analysis of lab cultures and tissues is pending. (The carcass of male #514 was too decomposed to determine the cause of death and tissues were unsuitable for further analysis.


Last Updated: 6/19/11


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