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

Back to Meet the Cranes 2012

crane #12-15 DAR
Photo: Eva Szyszkoski, ICF
Crane #15-12 DAR
Date Hatched May 31, 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. "Cypress" is the nickname they gave to male #15.


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 15-12 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 today for these wild and free birds!

Oct. 31: Migration begins! Crane #15-12 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.

November 3: Signals from the PTT-wearing females (#17-12 DAR and #13-12 DAR) were detected in Chester County, South Carolina. A visual sighting by the landowner confirmed that the little group of five remains together and left on Nov. 4.

Nov. 4: Still together, the 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).

January 7, 2013: Crane #15-12 was still with #13-12 after they moved from their Hendry County location to Broward County, Florida on December 22.

February 10, 2013: Male 15-12 DAR was captured from a neighborhood in Broward County, Florida, and relocated and released in Hendry County, where he remained through at least February 20.

Spring 2013: First Unaided Spring Migration North
March 8: Information received on 8 March indicated that #15-12 DAR may have migrated with sandhills in late February or early March. No further reports.

Fall 2013: Still missing.

Spring 2014: Still missing since last reported possibly leaving on migration with sandhill cranes from Hendry County, Florida, in late February or early March 2013. He was considered dead by mid June 2014 and removed from the population totals of the Eastern Flock.

Last updated: 9/20/2014