Meet the Class of 2014 Whooping Cranes
Hatch-year 2013 of the Eastern Flock

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W3-14 and parents in July
Image: Kelli Brockman-Dempze

Crane # W3-14
Date Hatched May 11, 2014
Gender Female
Left Leg Right Leg


Personality and Training: Crane chick #W3-14 hatched in the wild in Wisconsin to parents #12-02 and #19-04. The parents did a good job protecting their chick, who will not learn to fly until about age 70 days.

On August 12, pilot Bev Paulan and ICF tracking manager Eva Szyszkoski confirmed that W3-14 had fledged! A chick's fledging is a milestone of survival to celebrate.




W3 can fly!
Image: Eva Szyszkoski
W3 in Flight!
September 14, 2014: Crane #W3-14 was successfully captured and banded. Eva, the ICF bander, said, "We got them BOTH at once! Dad #12-02 was so angry with us that I was able to hook him around the neck as I was holding onto the chick and coworker Andy was right there to get him under control." The youngster will be led on migration without mother, female #19-04, who went missing in late August and is now presumed dead. Eva thinks the young chick is a female, and that turned out to be correct. The young female remained with her father #12-02 as autumn arrived.
W3-14 and father (#12-02) on September 14, 2014, just after banding and release.
Image: Eva Szyszkowski

Fall 2014, First Migration South: W3 and her father, #12-02, were still on territory in Wood County on October 16th. They began migration soon after and were reported in the father's wintering territory in Greene County, Indiana, by October 22! She remained there with her father until moving south to Lawrence County, Alabama, in early January with her father and #29-09, #19-10 DAR and #4-11. The whole group left Lawrence County, Alabama, and returned to Greene County, Indiana, on February 7, 2015. They remain there through at least March 25 when she was observed with female #7-12. She was not detected at this location during a check on March 29. (Her father, #12-02, had begun migration with female #4-11 on March 18-21 and was already back on his Wisconsin summer territory.)

Spring 2015: W-3-14 successfully migrated back to Necedah NWR but on April 22 her heavily scavenged and scattered remains were found on the refuge during a survey flight. She had last been observed alive on April 14.


Last updated: 5/10/2015