Whooping Crane Makes History At Horicon Marsh

(Horicon) A female whooping crane that made history as the first of its kind known to survive a Wisconsin winter has once again flown into the record books. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources officials say crane #38-17 has successfully paired up and become a mother, producing the first wild whooping crane chick to hatch and fledge from Horicon Marsh. The history-making offspring arrived three years after its mother, hatched and captive-reared in Maryland before being transferred to Wisconsin, became the first known whooping crane to overwinter in Wisconsin instead of migrating south. They say she survived one of the state’s coldest and longest winters and became a Facebook favorite as anxious fans tuned in to track her survival. DNR Conservation Biologist Davin Lopez says the survival and successful migration of every chick hatched is important, so #38-17’s survival and maternal status is great news. He says this wild chick represents several milestones toward the ultimate goal of establishing a self-sustaining migratory flock. Whooping cranes are one of 15 crane species worldwide. This particular species is found only in North America and is the tallest bird in the continent, standing five feet tall. Whooping cranes are endangered; there are only 849 whooping cranes in the world, both wild and captive, although that number is increasing thanks to efforts by the reintroduction team.