Photo: International Crane Foundation
Meet the Class of 2011 Whooping Crane Chicks!
Hatch-year 2011 of the Eastern Flock

Crane # 18-11(DAR)

Date Hatched

June 18, 2011



Egg Source

Leg Bands

(Attached before fall migration)

Left Leg Right Leg
(VHF radio transmitter)

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

Personality as a Chick
Nougat was fun and entertaining for staff and interns. This bird learned to eat and follow well almost immediately. For the first couple days, Nougat would find a clover plant, get between multiple flowers and peck like crazy, as if it were a little drum set randomly hitting all the flowers. Nougat is enthusiastic and energetic outside. "As soon as we take this bird out, we know we'll see a little crane dance and bath," said intern Jackie. More news about Nougat will be coming.

On September 20, he was transported with his entire cohort of Direct Autum Release chicks to Horicon Refuge to spend the next few weeks in an enclosure and under supervision. On Ocober 14 he was banded with his permanent leg band colors. On October 21 he was set free to hang out with sandhill cranes on the refuge. The team hopes he'll follow them south on migration, and learn where to go. Tracking Crew Chief Eva said that when the DAR birds were released, seven of them (including #18) hung out in one group by themselves; on Oct. 24 they flew a really big loop over the northern end of the refuge. On October 27th this group moved to a small area of marshland in Dane County. They spend the day foraging in some cut corn fields before returning to the marsh habitat to roost in the evening with a few dozen Sandhill cranes.
Images: Eva Szyszkoski, ICF

Migration History

Fall 2011, First Migration: DAR cranes #18-11 and #15-11 were at Wheeler NWR in Alabama in early December and spent the winter there among many sandhill cranes. Crane #919 was with them, and two Whooping crane pairs wintered on a separate area of the refuge.

Spring 2012: DAR cranes #18-11 and #15-11 departed Alabama's Wheeler NWR on their first northward migration February 26 with their pal #919 and about 60 Sandhill cranes! They were back on Necedah NWR in Wisconsin on March 14th! The two DAR cranes spent the night on one pool while #919 appears to have separated from them and roosted at a different pool. Well done! The two DAR juveniles moved to Marquette County, Wisconsin on March 16, in typical wandering behavior of juveniles. April 12 they were in Fond du Lac County, WI.

Fall 2012: Migrated south and was reported at Wheeler NWR in Alabama in January 2013.

Spring 2013: Crane #18-11 (DAR) completed migration to Wisconsin on March 29 with #15-11 (DAR) . He is not paired with any Whooping Cranes and seems to like hanging out with Sandhill Cranes. If he could speak, what do you suppose he might be saying in this photo by Gary Masemore at Horicon National Wildlife Refuge at the end of April?

Crane 18-11 DAR in a funny pose!

Fall 2013: Remained at Horicon NWR in Wisconsin.

Spring 2014: Horicon National Wildlife Refuge in Wisconsin.

Fall 2014: Male #18-11 DAR departed Horicon NWR in Wisconsin on November 18 and wintered with sandhill cranes in Obion County, Tennessee.

Spring 2015: Male #18-11 DAR was reported with an injury to his left leg on April 1 near the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge, Wisconsin. He continued to be monitored and slowly improved. On June 30, the team reported that, while he does still limp, his behavior seemed otherwise normal.

Fall 2015: 18-11 DAR was seen in Dodge County, WI on December 27 before he migrated to Wheeler NWR in Morgan County, AL, where he was first seen on Jan 7, 2016. He stayed until mid-February, and then began heading north.

Spring 2016: Male crane 18-11 DAR (with 16-11 DAR) was first seen in Wisconsin on March 9 at Horicon Marsh. He was still in Dodge County, WI, with two Sandhill cranes at the end of August.

Fall 2016: He was still in Dodge County, WI Dec. 4 but then migrated to Wheeler NWR in Morgan County, Alabama.

Spring 2017: The first Whooping Crane recorded back in Wisconsin this spring appears to have been male #18-11, who returned in early March to Dodge County.


Last updated: 3/06/17

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