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THE WHOOPING CRANE REPORT: 6


Spike is on the left, and Shelly is on the right. Spike stays closer to the photographer, Jane, to keep himself between Jane and Shelly to protect his mate. Both birds are doing a "strut walk" which in crane language, is a threat.
Photo by Jane Nicolich, 
USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center

02-84003 is on the left, and 02-85001 is on the right. 02-84003 stays closer to the photographer, Jane, to keep himself between Jane and 02-85001 to protect his mate. Both birds are doing a "strut walk" which in crane language, is a threat. Another crane would understand this was an order to leave their territory

Spike, here, is in the foreground. Shelly is behind him. He is still keeping himself between Jane and Shelly, making sure that Jane can't get too close to Shelly. Both Spike and Shelly have turned their heads slightly to make sure Jane can see the bright red crowns on their heads.
Photo by Jane Nicolich, 
USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center

02-84003 , here, is in the foreground. 02-85001 is behind him. He is still keeping himself between Jane and 02-85001, making sure that Jane can't get too close to 02-85001. Both 02-84003 and 02-85001 have turned their heads slightly to make sure Jane can see the bright red crowns on their heads. Cranes communicate through the size, color, and condition of their crowns, and this display would tell another crane that this territory is taken and they should leave.

Damien manages to get closer to Shelly. She is displaying her crown, hoping he'll get the message to leave.
Photo by Damien Ossi, 
USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center

Damien manages to get closer to 02-85001. She is displaying her crown, hoping he'll get the message to leave. The cranes must wonder why we don't "hear" what they're saying when their language is so obvious to other cranes.

The Breeding Pairs:
02-84003 and 02-85001

Since we wouldn't have a breeding season without our breeding pairs, we wanted to feature some of them on our whooping crane reports. We are in full production now, with cranes still laying, and chicks hatching already. See our Cool Facts, below, for information about this year's breeding season.

02-84003 and 02-85001 are one of the best producing pairs at Patuxent. 02-84003 's Patuxent ID number is 02-84003 and 02-85001's is 02-85001 . The "02" number stands for their species, whooping crane. The next two digits stand for the year they were hatched. 02-84003 was hatched in 1984 and 02-85001 in 1985. The last three digits signify the order they hatched of all the chicks hatched in that year. 02-84003 was the third chick hatched in 1984, and 02-85001 was the first chick hatched in 1985. Both birds originated at Patuxent. 02-84003 is the son of 02-64001 and 02-71001.
02-64001 is the oldest whooper at Patuxent, and came from the wild. He was featured in a previous report last spring (Day 06 of the chick reports). 02-85001 is the daughter of Hal and Ursula. Hal and Ursula are both from the wild, and were brought, as eggs, to Patuxent from Wood Buffalo National Park in Canada.

02-84003 and 02-85001 have been together since the late '80's. Their first egg hatched in 1992. For awhile it didn't seem as if they would be good producers since they didn't like their eggs very much. 02-85001 got her name from the bad habit she had of breaking egg "shells" when she was young. She and 02-84003 both broke eggs. Fortunately, we were able to discourage them from the habit by giving them unbreakable artificial crane eggs made of wood. Once they were convinced they couldn't break the eggs, they started taking care of them. They're excellent parents and last year raised a healthy chick to fledging age (70 days). They have offspring at Patuxent, and in Florida in the wild, and also in Yellowstone Park. Two of their chicks were part of an experiment using ultra-flight aircraft to teach whoopers a migratory route.

02-84003 got his name because of a "02-84003 " of feathers he had on his head when he was young. It's gone now, but his name remains.

2000 Production report for 02-84003 and 02-85001: Eggs Produced: 9. Eggs Fertile: 8, 1 unknown. 
Eggs Hatched: 8. Chicks survived to fledging: 6. Chicks sent to Florida, 4. 
Chicks remaining at Patuxent: 2
.

For this year, 02-84003 and 02-85001 have already produced 7 eggs.

Please check our site on May 10th for a web page update! We hope to have some surprises for you!

Cool Facts:

This whooper is only 5 days old. This picture, taken last year, shows a typically curious, precocious baby crane as they begin to discover their world and grow at an amazing rate.
Photo by Damien Ossi, 
USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center

This whooper is only 5 days old. This picture, taken last year, shows a typically curious, precocious baby crane as they begin to discover their world and grow at an amazing rate.

The 2001 Breeding Season Progress Report

Our first whooper chick hatched on April 9th. It was one of Spike and Shelly's chicks. That chick is being raised for the Florida release program, and so far he's a healthy, active chick. Our first whooper chick hatched on April 9th. It was one of 02-84003 and 02-85001's chicks. That chick is being raised for the Florida release program, and so far he's a healthy, active chick. We currently have 5 whooper chicks on the ground, two of them hatched on Easter day. So far, we have 32 whooper eggs from our breeding flock. It takes a while to determine how many of the eggs are fertile, but they each hold the promise of another whooper to bolster the numbers of this rare species.

We currently have 9 producing female whoopers. This is one more than last year, since a new whooper female, 02-93120, laid her first egg this year. We currently have 9 producing female whoopers. This is one more than last year, since a new whooper female, 02-93120, laid her first egg this year.

Not all the chicks will be raised for the Florida release program. This year we plan to raise some of the chicks for a new migratory release program. Those chicks will be trained to fly behind an ultralight aircraft, and to migrate from Central Wisconsin to Florida. Not all the chicks will be raised for the Florida release program. This year we plan to raise some of the chicks for a new migratory release program. Those chicks will be trained to fly behind an ultralight aircraft, and to migrate from Central Wisconsin to Florida. Along with our partners, Operation Migration, we have successfully done this with non-endangered greater sandhill cranes. We hope that this year will be the beginning of the establishment a new, migratory whooper flock.

Click here to ask questions about Patuxent's whooping crane program.   Please check our site on May 10 for a web page update!

Hatch Day (Click on numbered links to view all other egg (negative numbers) and chick days).

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-2

-1

 0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14


To check on updates after day 14, go to whooper's home.
General Info on Cranes Why are Cranes Endangered? Frequently Asked Questions Photo Gallery Cool Facts Related Links Whoopers Home
Other Patuxent Crane Information

U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, 
Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Laurel, MD, USA
URL http://whoopers.usgs.gov
Contact: Jonathan Male
Last Modification: 18-April-2001@07:52 (edt)
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