Meet the New 2007 DAR Whooping Crane Chicks!

Photo: Danielle Desourdis, USFWS Intern

Crane #43-07 DAR

Date Hatched

June 9, 2007



Weight: 4.6 kg

Egg Source: ICF

Permanent Leg Bands:

Left Leg:
R/W and PTT


Right Leg:


Personality and History

After hatching at ICF, this chick was nicknamed "Caliper" by caretakers, but her real and only official name is DAR 43-07. She came from the egg that the Team tried to put into a pair's nest to be raised by adult whoopers. The pair would not "adopt" the egg, so 43-07 was instead hatched in captivity. She had a difficult time breaking out of the egg, but she grew to be a good-sized female in the middle of the pack.

She was released with DAR #39-07 October 30, 2007 on Necedah NWR by adult Whooping Crane #102. They later joined four other DAR chicks that were still on the refuge. These six stayed together the rest of the week. They roosted each night at Site 3 with adult female #102. This DAR group moved around to other ponds on or near the refuge during the day. They associated with adult pairs #211/217 and #309*/403 sometimes. Other times they were with Sandhills, or alone.

DAR chicks 43-07, #39-07, 37-07, 40-07, 42-07, 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 team so they could easily find cranes to follow south. But on December 17, DAR females 39-07 and 43-07 flew to Alabama. They stayed until December 23, when they returned and wandered around the Hiwassee area. Tey remain in Tennessee.

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, 42-07, 44-07, and 46-07. They roosted for one night in Adair County, Kentucky and then migrated the next day to Clark County, Indiana. On March 21st, they continued migration to Fayette County, Indiana. On March 22, #43-07 died at that location when she apparently struck powerlines, the greatest danger to migrating cranes.


Last Updated: 3/24/08


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