Wampanoag, a chick that hatched in Crane City on May 12, contributed to that number. Whooping crane couple Sunflower and Alec laid two eggs at Stone Zoo at New England Zoo in Massachusetts this year, who reached out to Boardman, who is coordinator for the whooping crane survival plan. The zoo is one of the program’s showrooms, but it doesn’t hatch or raise the birds, Boardman said, so ICF identified alternative homes for them.

“There are a lot of logistical details that need to be worked out when laying eggs and we actually have a weekly call – and sometimes more – to all of the breeding centers to let everyone know who is laying which eggs and where so that we can identify these houses for birds “, she said.

One went to Baraboo and the other to Virginia, she said.



A panting crane egg laid in the Stone Zoo of New England Zoo in Massachusetts is being prepared for the International Crane Foundation in Baraboo on May 10, surrounded by warming packs in a padded cooler.


INTERNATIONAL CRANE FOUNDATION / Contributed

While egg transfers are common at ICF, this was Stone Zoo’s first successful, despite Sunflower and Alec having laid fertilized eggs in the past, according to Kim Allen, a senior zookeeper there. In a statement to the News Republic, she said she flew to Wisconsin with the egg in a portable, temperature-controlled incubator that she monitored throughout the flight.

When she arrived at the International Crane Foundation, the egg was “gutted inside,” the first of three steps in the hatching process, according to a press release. Staff placed it in an artificial incubator to monitor the process until the chick drilled a hole in its shell. At this point, the foster parents Achilles and Aransas took their place over the hatching chick, the message says.