Whoopers return to Wisconsin
The eight Class of 2009 ultralight-led Whooping Cranes that departed St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) on March 24 completed their spring migration on April 1 according to the International Crane Foundation.
Sara Zimorski, ICF Aviculturist/WCEP Tracking Team and Winter Management Co-chair picked up the radio transmitter signals of all eight cranes as they were flying around the Necedah area in Juneau County, Wisconsin.
These are the first ultralight-led cranes to complete their spring migration, but not the first cranes from the Class of 2009 to complete migration. On March 18, three DAR (Direct Autumn Release) Whooping Cranes completed their first migration to Necedah NWR. Since then, two additional 2009 DAR birds have arrived at Necedah NWR.
The remaining four Class of 2009 DAR birds are currently at the Muscatatuck NWR in Indiana. The other eleven 2009 ultralight-led Whooping Cranes remain at the Chassahowitzka and St. Marks National Wildlife Refuges.