Death of Crane #214

Remains of Crane #214 (Feb. 6, 2005)
Photo Lara Fondow

Female #214 was the first ultra-crane to arrive for the 2004-05 winter at Chassahowitzka. It was to be her last winter. After checking out the pen, she flew off and joined wintering Sandhill cranes on a cattle ranch in Sumter County, Florida. On January 29, 2005, #214 returned to the Chassahowitzka pensite. Cranes 211, 212 and 217 were also there. They were intolerant of 214 and wanted to chase her away. On Feb 1, the crane caretakers saw #212 chasing #214 in an aerial dogfight. For the next two days 214's radio signals were weak and unusual. Her signals were coming from the south or east. During the pen check at dusk on February 5, ICF tracker Lara Fondow detected signals indicating probable mortality (death). The feather remains of #214 were discovered Feb. 6, approximately 1 mile southeast of the Chassahowitzka pen. She likely died Feb 1 or 2, 2005 from a bobcat attack.

Female 214
Photo OM

Try This! Journaling Question

  • The death of #214 brought the population of the new Eastern Flock to 46 birds as of Feb. 6, 2005. How many females remain in the new flock as of now? (See "Meet the Flock" charts to find out.) Why are experts so concerned about the death of another female?