Eastern Flock Chicks: Hatch Year 2011
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Group 1

Learn to migrate
by following ultralight airplanes

Group 1 chicks are captive-born.

Crane chick #3-10

Crane #2-11
(escaped during fall migration: migrated with wild cranes. Suspected dead April 2015.)

Crane chick #6-10
Crane #4-11

(died Jan. 2017)

Crane chick #8-10
Crane #9-11

(died July 2012)

Above Photos: Operation Migration
Group 2 (DAR)

Learn to migrate by following older cranes in the flock

Group 2 chicks are also captive-born. In fall the chicks are released in the company of older cranes from whom the young birds learn the migration route in a program called
Direct Autumn Release (DAR)

The International Crane Foundation (ICF) raised 8 young cranes for the 2011 Direct Autumn Release (DAR) program. The young chicks spent six weeks at the Necedah NWR in Juneau County, Wis., where they got used to wetland habitat and wild cranes near by. They were transported to Horicon National Wildlife Refuge on September 20. Costumed biologists from ICF will watch over them. On October 14 these cranes were banded. On October 21 they were set free in the company of older cranes on Horicon NWR. They willl learn the migration route south by following these older cranes.

Crane #13-11
(presumed dead)

Crane #14-11
(shot July 2013)

Crane #20-11
(died June 2015)
Group 3 (W = wild hatched)

Learn to migrate by following their parents

Group 3 chicks are wild-born. Their parents raise them and teach them to migrate. This is the natural way cranes learn to migrate. One day, this flock will be large enough for wild-born parents to take over. Then human-assisted migration will no longer be needed.

Image: Eva Szyszkoski, ICF
Four chicks hatched in the new Eastern flock in spring 2011. None survived past July 1.