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

Crane # 20-11(DAR)

Date Hatched

June 30, 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
Chiffon also went outside at the age of one day and walked right out with the costume to the pond. Intern Jackie said she didn't swim on day one but did a great job of wobbly walking through the vegetation and running faster than her little legs could handle at the time. Chiffon and Gelato have been socialized together. They follow together okay but stop every few minutes to act out a little sibling rivalry. Learn more about Chiffon in the months ahead.

On September 20, she was transported with her entire cohort of Direct Autum Release chicks to Horicon Refuge. She will spend the next few weeks in an enclosure and under supervision at this release site. On Ocober 14 she was banded with her permanent leg band colors. On October 21 she was set free to hang out with sandhill cranes on the refuge. The team hopes she'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 #20) 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: Crane #20-11 (DAR) was photographed by Bret Douglas, wading with sandhill cranes at Tennessee's Hiwassee State Wildlife Refuge on Dec. 11! Many of the Eastern flock of Whooping cranes use this wonderful refuge as a migratory stopover, and some cranes stay all winter. Crane #20-11 stayed all winter, hanging around with #17-11 (DAR). They were still there March 20.

Crane #11-20 (DAR) in Tennessee with sandhill cranes. She successfully made her first southward migration!
Image: Bret Douglas

Spring 2012: Migrating DAR 20-11 remained in Dubois Co, IN (likely with 17-11) through at least the morning of Apri 12. Uncertain when she arrived there, but DAR #17-11 (and presumably DAR #20-11) left Dubois County, Indiana, on April 18. Their last satellite readings were at 4pm in Champaign County, Illinois, on that day, probably as they were in flight.

Fall 2011: DAR 20-11 wintered at the Wheeler NWR in Alabama with #17-11 and a lot of other Calss of 2011 birds (including ultralight-led cranels #1, 3, 4, 5, and 6 as well as DAR 15-11 and DAR 18-11. Also wintering there were older crane pairs 27-06/26-09 and 13-02/18-02 and #19-11.

Spring 2013: Migration completed April 3, together with #17-11.

Fall 2013: Crane #20-11 DAR migrated to Wheeler NWR in Alabama.

Spring 2014: Female #20-11 DAR began migration from Wheeler NWR in Alabama on 23 February. She had reached Greene County, Indiana, by the afternoon of 28 February. Remained in Greene County through at least roost on 18 March. Continued north to Jasper County, IN, by/on 21 March. She completed migration to Green Lake County, Wisconsin, on 30 March, and remains in Green Lake County.

Fall 2014: Crane #20-11 DAR moved from her summering territory in Green Lake County, WI, to the Horicon NWR on 7 October. She continued south on 9 October, flying to Walworth County, WI. She ended her migration at Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge in Tennessee for the winter.

Spring 2015: Female #20-11 DAR migrated successfully back to Wisconsin's Green Lake County, but her remains of were collected in Green Lake County, Wisconsin, on June 26. She was last observed alive on June16 in the same marsh area. The cause of death is currently unknown.


Last updated: 6/30/15

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