Photo: John Cullum

Meet the 2008 DAR Whooping Crane Chicks!
Crane DAR #37-08 (837D)

Date Hatched

June 29 , 2008



Egg Source:

Leg Bands


Left Leg Right Leg


  • Read more about the raising and naming of the DAR chicks.
    *Scroll to bottom for most recent history.*

Personality and History
The youngest of the group, this bird is by far the most independent. Shortly after hatching she lost a lot of weight. "We were fortunate to keep her alive," said DAR Intern John Cullum. "Not only is she the youngest but she is the smallest of the birds, and on the small end of the normal range. She often kept some distance from the costume even as a very young bird. This is most likely because she was always surrounded by bigger, more dominant chicks. Now that she's older, she still has no problem wandering far away from the crane costume. She sometimes acts as though she doesn't care where it is at all! She is also very easily distracted, and if she spots any type of bright colored, possibly delicious flower, she runs toward it and there's no turning back."

She was released on Necedah NWR with #38-08 on October 18th. The day after their release, these two plus DAR chicks #37-08 and #38-08 returned to the site where they were all raised. Soon they left DAR #37-08 and flew to the northern end of the refuge and joined up with DAR 31-08 and 32-08. But #37-08 was a loner in her younger days, and she stayed on the southern half of the refuge after the other DAR chicks left.

She has been seen in the company of older Whooping cranes every day. She seems to be hanging around them all the time, and often roosts where there are multiple Whooping cranes. One day she followed #27-06 and #28-06 (both DAR cranes from 2006) and #412 as they flew from one pool across the road to a small wetland. DAR #37-08 has also followed various adult Whooping cranes to cornfields south of the refuge. Sometimes she is part of a group of 10 or more other Whooping cranes and hundreds of sandhills. This behavior looks very promising: Will she continue to follow the more experienced cranes and migrate south with some of them? That's the hope!

In November, 37-08 was still with a group of about 15 mostly sub-adult cranes on Necedah NWR. Included in this group is #810, who did not migrate with the ultralight-led group because he didn't "play nice" with the others in the group. She hangs out with #810 at times.

DAR 37-08 and #810 are in this group of cranes south of Necedah NWR on Nov. 14.
Photo Eva Szyszkoski, ICF

Fall 2008 — First Journey South as a Direct-Autumn-Released Crane: Left Wisconsin on Nov. 20 in a large group of the flock's adult Whooping cranes and another first-timer, #810 (the chick pulled out of the ultralight cohort). Not all of them stayed together, but on Nov. 24, young #810 and #37-08 (in a group of six others) had reached the border of southern Illinois and southern Indiana.

Nov. 25: "They have been in this location for a few days now, and haven't separated from each other once! It's really adorable to watch them fly around together, landing in various fields and dancing quite often." The group was in Gibson County, Indiana until Dec. 21, when they moved to White County, Tennessee.
Photos Eva Szyszkoski, ICF

Crane DAR 37-08 was confirmed at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park in Alachua County, Florida, on January 1, 2009! She was with first-timer #10-08 and older whoopers #511, 512, 716, and 724. Thousands of sandhill cranes are there too. They completed migration sometime December 28 - 31.

Spring 2009: DAR 37-08 remained at her wintering location at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park in Florida with a pair of non-migratory whoopers at least through April 7. Her last remaining wintering buddy, #512, had begun migration from this location by March 25. Sad news came from Florida on April 17: The partial remains of DAR#37-08 were discovered by Tim Dellinger, Florida FWCC, during an aerial survey of Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park on April 15. She had last been seen alive during a similar survey on April 7. Her PTT was recovered on 16 April16 after being tracked to an alligator 165 miles east of where the rest of her carcass was found.

Last updated: 4/17/09

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