Photo Jennifer Davis, ICF
Meet the Class of 2010 Whooping Crane Chicks!
Hatch-year 2010 of the Eastern Flock

Crane # 20-10 DAR

Date Hatched

May 31, 2010



Egg Source

Leg Bands

(Attached before first migration)

Left Leg Right Leg
radio transmitter

  • Read more about the raising and naming of the DAR chicks.
    *Scroll to bottom for most recent history.*
DAR #20-10 drinks water.
Photo Jennifer Davis, ICF

Personality as a Chick
"Gouda" was this chick's baby name after hatching at ICF; he fledged on August 19.

Crane #20-10 is one of the largest birds in our flock. He has never been as easy with his place in the hierarchy as his buddies 18 and 19. He often challenges other birds. Being one of our better fliers, he is often hanging around with 18, 19, and 24, reports Jen.
The 11 DAR (Direct Autumn Release) Whooping Crane chicks were released October 25 on the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). The young cranes learn the migration route from following older cranes. Biologists from ICF and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service are tracking the released DAR cranes using radio telemetry, picking up radio signals emitted from leg transmitters on the birds.

On October 30 an unknown predator attacked a group of cranes on Necedah NWR. The group included #20-10 and three other DAR juveniles, two adult whooping cranes, and sandhill cranes. Male #20-10 got a bleeding scratch on the head but #18-10 was killed.

By Nov. 6 the large group of nine birds had been settling into a routine and feeding in cornfields just south of the refuge during the day, reported Eva. They are usually with older birds #506, #906 and 38-09 (DAR) and return to the refuge in the evening.

As they begin the migration south trackers will be monitoring the birds’ movements. Watch for news below!

Migration History

Fall 2010, First Migration: Began migration November 23, following older Whooping cranes who know the route. In fact, DAR chicks 20, 23, 24, 26, and 28-10 all stayed together and were led by experienced adults #506 (6-05) and yearlings #906 (6-09) and #38-09 DAR. This large group of eight spent some time in Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge before once again escaping the cold snows of Indiana.

WCEP trackers recorded the five DAR chicks and the three older whoopers in Hamilton County, TN when they roosted there on December 10th. On December 13th the group of eight cranes left this location. The three older birds later returned, but no further reports came for the five DAR juveniles until December 30, 1010, when hunters found three of them dead from gunshot just west of Albany, Georgia. The three shot cranes were DAR chicks 20-10, 24-10 and 28-10.

The landowner reported the cranes had been in the area for a few weeks before they were found dead. Since the deaths, two Whooping Cranes, presumed to be the other two DAR birds of the group of five, had been sighted in fields nearby.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and others are investigating the shooting of these endangered birds, and a reward is offered for information leading to arrest of the shooters. The public is asked to report any tips. Contact U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Special Agent Terry Hasting at 404-763-7959 (ext. 233).

Updates will appear here when there's further news.


Last updated: 1/10/11

Back to "Meet the Flock 2010"