Migration Highlights
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Fall 2015
Target date for departure from Wisconsin September 20, 2015
September 26, 2015
Actual date of departure
September 30, 2015
Number of birds on departure date
Number of birds surviving fall migration
Date migration ends
February 6, 2016
Total days of fall migration
115 (two hiatus periods excluded)
Total miles flown
Days on Wintering Grounds  
Number of birds before spring migration
Number of birds surviving spring 2016 migration  


  • This was the first time the target departure was postponed due to crops still being unharvested in the fields that are the first stopover sites.
  • With weather delays slowing progress, the team took a much-needed holiday hiatus December 19-28 and returned to yet more weather delays.
  • Another weeklong hiatus took place from January 18-25 while the team went to WCEP meetings that announced the decision to end the aircraft-guided migrations begun in 2001.
  • This is the final time the OM team will lead young cranes to Florida, and the longest migration in the 15-year history of the project.
  • For the second time in the history of the project, the cranes finished the migration by road instead of by their own wing power. The first time was for the Class of 2011.
  • The migration ended with the young migrants being delivered the final 24 miles to St. Marks NWR in crates instead of landing there after the final flight. Winds were too strong and the team didn't want any more weather delays. It was already February, and time for the birds to learn wild ways and foraging on their own.