Two endangered whooping cranes whose eggs were taken from a nest at the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge last month have hatched in Maryland.
Refuge manager Larry Wargowsky says they're the first to hatch from a flock that migrates between Wisconsin and Florida.
The eggs were taken to a Patuxent wildlife research center in Maryland last week. One egg hatched Friday and the other Sunday.
Wargowsky says the weather is warmer at Patuxent at this time of year and their training for migration can start earlier there.
The cranes will return to Necedah later this summer to learn how to follow an ultralight plane in the fall to a wildlife refuge in Florida as other whooping cranes in the flock have done the last five years.
The whooping crane was near extinction in 1941, with only about 20 left. The two newly hatched birds will join about 320 others in the world.