North American Crane Working Group


Date of this Version


Document Type



Stehn, Thomas V. "Unusual Movements and Behaviors of Color-Banded Whooping Cranes During Winter.",In: Stahlecker D. W., ed. 1992. Proceedings of the Sixth North American Crane Workshop, Oct. 3-5, 1991, Regina, Sask. (Grand Island, NE.: North American Crane Working Group, 1992), 95-101.


Conference co-sponsored by the Canadian Wildlife Service, Saskatchewan Parks and Renewable Resources Department, and the Whooping Crane Conservation Association, Canadian Council. Proceedings used by permission of the North American Crane Working Group.


Color-banding of whooping cranes (Grus americana) has allowed individual recognition of >45% of the population between 1985 and 1990 and has provided the opportunity to monitor individual movements and behaviors. Unusual occurrences have included: 5 whooping crane juveniles that separated from their parents prior to reaching the wintering grounds, a sandhill crane (G. canadensis) juvenile wintering with a whooping crane pair, whooping cranes that oversummered at Aransas, a widowed crane that paired with a new mate within 48 hours, 2 cranes that did not reach the wintering grounds until 3 years of age, a known nesting pair that spent much of the winter apart but nested together again the following summer, 2 juveniles that were abandoned at the beginning of or during spring migration, and a whooping crane that left the wintering area in January but returned in March.