Class of 2020 - International Crane Foundation

International Crane Foundation


Class of 2020

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This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, only wild-hatched chicks were added to the Eastern Migratory Population.

Wild-hatched Whooping Cranes

Sex: Female
Hatch Date: April 30, 2020

Spring 2020: W3-20 hatched to parents 42-09 and 11-15. The chick grew quickly, and ICF staff successfully fitted her with leg bands. By July 24, one of ICF’s volunteer trackers saw W3-20 take her first flight.

W3-20 with mom 42-09. Photo by Bob Stoil


Fall 2020: After a lot of practice flying, W3-20 and parents left Wisconsin in late October, stopped in Illinois and Morgan County, Alabama only to come a bit more north ending in Hopkins County, Kentucky. We were able to remotely track them so carefully by replacing 42-09’s satellite transmitter this summer.  

Sex: Male
Hatch Date: May 17, 2020

Spring 2020: W13-20 is the first chick to hatch at Horicon National Wildlife Refuge, which is very exciting for the Eastern Migratory Population! First-year parents 38-17 and 63-15 have done a great job raising their chick. ICF staff attempted to band W13 in mid-July, but the first attempt was unsuccessful, and they hope to try again. W13 is just old enough to fledge, but they have yet to begin flying.

One of W13-20’s first flights! Photo by Doug Pellerin


Fall 2020: W13-20, the first chick to hatch at Horicon NWR, fledged in early August! After a failed capture attempt, ICF finally captured and banded him after he fledgedHe and his parents migrated in mid- November to their usual spot in Randolph County, Illinois. 

W13-20 with parents on the wintering grounds. Photo by Tom Bohrer

Sex: Male
Hatch Date: May 10, 2020

Spring 2020: W14-20 was a surprise chick our pilot Bev found on her May 29 flight. Parents 12-03 and 12-05 are very secretive about their nesting, but luckily, we have Bev to find them and their chicks. W14-20 was captured and banded by ICF staff in mid-July. We have not seen W14-20 fly yet, but they are old enough to fly when ready!

Bev’s first flight and she found a surprise chick!


Fall 2020: W14-20 fledged at the beginning of AugustHe and his parents left Necedah NWR, WI in late October. They were seen in Winnebago County, IL on their way down to their normal wintering spot in Knox County, IN. 

W14-20 with parents in Indiana. Photo by Francis Newman


Hatch Date: 
July 2, 2020

Spring 2020: 13-02 and 24-08 hatched the last chick of the season at the beginning of July! This youngster was captured and banded by ICF staff at the end of August and fledged at the end of September. 

W18-20 with parents at Necedah. Photo by Hillary Thompson


Fall 2020:  W18-20 and her parents were one of the last ones to migrate at the end of November. They stopped in multiple states on their long journey down to northern Alabama at the end of December.