Meet the Class of 2013 Whooping Cranes
Hatch-year 2013 of the Eastern Flock

Back to Meet the Cranes 2013

2013 DAR crane Fonzi
Photo: Intl. Crane Fdn.
Fonzi (DAR)#54-13
Date Hatched May 30, 2013
Gender Female
Left Leg Right Leg
(VHF radio transmitter)


Personality and Training: How did she get the name Fonzi? ICF staff used the theme of TV sitcoms or sitcom characters when they named the new chicks. (A change in the numbering system is under discussion.) Fonzi is named after Arthur Fonzarelli, the popular character of the old TV show "Happy Days." She sometimes likes to forage on her own, away from the other chicks.

Fonzi and the other DAR chicks were costume reared and then transported to Horicon Wildlife Refuge in early September. The chicks will now spend more time out of a pen and less time with the costume. They will be officially released probably at the end of October to mingle with other wild Whooping cranes and Sandhill cranes. If all goes as planned, the youngsters will follow the older cranes to learn the flock's southward migration route.

The DAR chicks got their legbands and colors on Sept. 27. They were released at Horicon NWR on Oct. 24, 2013.

Fall 2013: First Southward Migration: Fonzi, Squiggy, and Radar departed Harken NWR in Wisconsin on Dec. 11. They were detected in flight in Ogle County, Illinois, later that day and had arrived in Mason County, Illinois, by the night of December 12. They were observed together at this location during an aerial survey on December 13. Based on satellite readings from #54, they remained in the area through at least roost on January 4. The tracking team monitored them closely and soon their tracking signals indicated all three had died. Only the remains (scattered feathers and transmitter) of Squiggy (51-13) were found due to deep snow cover. The search for remains of Radar and Fonzi will resume as conditions permit.


2013 DAR crane Fonzi
Image: Intl. Crane Foundation
Dar cranes at Horicon Regufe after release

Last updated: 1/24/2014