Wild whooping crane chick hatches in central Wisconsin

MARATHON CO. (WITI) -- The Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership (WCEP) is celebrating another success in its efforts to reintroduce a wild migratory whooping crane population in eastern North America. A whooping crane chick hatched Tuesday, May 21st in Marathon County.

The chick, #W1-13 (W = wild hatched), is the offspring of the whooping crane pair consisting of a female #5-10 and male #28-08 from the ultralight-guided crane Classes of 2010 and 2008.

The pair nested in 2012 in Marathon County, however, after incubating past the anticipated hatch date, it was determined their single egg was infertile. This was likely because the female was only two years old and had not yet reached breeding maturity.

This spring they nested again – this time producing two eggs – one of which hatched on May 21. WCEP is hopeful the second egg will hatch very soon.

Whooping cranes were on the verge of extinction in the 1940s. Today, there are only about 600 birds in existence, approximately 445 of them in the wild.