Meet the Class of 2012 Whooping Cranes
Hatch-year 2012 of the Eastern Flock

Back to Meet the Cranes 2012

baby crane #12-12 DAR
Photo: Eva Szyszkoski, ICF
Crane #12-12 DAR
Date Hatched May 20, 2012
Gender Male
Left Leg Right Leg
(VHF radio transmitter)

Personality and Training: The crew at ICF chose "prairies and wetlands" for the theme in naming the 2012 DAR birds they would costume-rear for later release with wild cranes. "Sedge" is the nickname they gave to male #12. This crane's parents are in the new Eastern flock of reintroduced Whooping Cranes in central Wisconsin. The egg he hatched from was removed from the nest of #16-07 (female) and #16-02 at Necedah National Wildlife Refuge and taken to ICF to incubate it until hatching.


Fall 2012: In early September, the chicks were transferred to Horicon National Wildlife Refuge in preparation for their release in central Wisconsin. Release took place Oct. 29. The chicks stood outside their boxes for several minutes looking around and flapping. Finally they took off toward the direction of the sandhill cranes that were roosting. ICF's Marianne Wellington. Chick 12-12 DAR and all the others except #14 (who took off with Sandshill Cranes) were together the next morning in the location where their costumed caretaker usually joined them. No costume waited that day for these wild and free birds!

Oct. 31: Migration begins! Crane #12-12 DAR left Horicon with all but #14. They were tracked by ICF's Eva iinto the Chicago area of Illinois before Eva got caught in traffic and lost signals of the cranes. It appears that the little group roosted that night in Lawrence County, Indiana.

Nov. 4: Still together, the little group of five DAR cranes left their roost location in Chester County, South Carolina. They are NOT with experienced sandhill cranes! "They are winging it on their own!" reports ICF tracker, Eva. PTT readings from #17-12 put her (likely with the others) at the Cape Romain NWR on the Atlantic Coast for the night of November 4.

Nov. 5: PTT readings for 13-12 showed they migrated from Cape Romain NWR down the coast to southern Glynn County, GA, where they roosted. The five young whoopers are likely all still together, and only 50 miles from Jacksonville, Florida!

Nov. 7: GPS PTT readings from #17-12 and also #13-12 from last night's roost point put them within 26 miles of Paynes Prairie.

Nov. 8: PTT readings show they moved SE of Tampa, likely still all together and continued flying south, roosting in Monroe County in the Everglades (5pm location).

Dec. 28: Cranes #12-12, 12-16 and 17-12 were still in Hendry County, Florida but no longer together. On December 28, #12-12 was reported as having a possible leg injury. As of early January, trackers were still trying to send someone with tracking equipment to check on his status.

February 5, 2013: Male #12-12 has not been detected since being reported with a possible leg injury in Hendry County, Florida, on December 28, 2012.

Mid February, 2013: "The remains of Direct Autumn Release juveniles 12-12 (male) and 17-12 (female) were collected from their wintering territory in Hendry County, Florida, in mid-February. Death had likely occurred in late December or January," reported tracker Eva Szyszkoski.

Last updated: March/2013