Whooping Crane Migration Update: March 16, 2007

Today's Report Includes:

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Migration Map and Highlights: Here They Come!
Click for migration animation >>
Click for migration animation >>

On March 7 the Western flock's first family group began their migration! Fifteen whoopers from the new Eastern flock are also migrating, including one first-timer: the new flock's first wild-hatched chick (W601) and her parents. Where are they? Trackers don't know!

Viewers reported Whooping cranes amid large migrating flocks of Sandhill cranes in Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin at the end of last week, but which birds were they? We don't know.

Until trackers can see the birds' bands or pick up radio signals, it is impossible to identify which bird is where. Tracking reports come weekly and life story pages are updated for Spring 2007 as information arrives. As locations are reported or confirmed, the migration progress of both flocks appears live on our MapServer!

Tom Stehn Reports: Cranes on the Move Read >>
Tom Stehn's report

"It is not until April when most small groups of whooping cranes will ruffle their feathers one last time, consume a final sip of brackish water, take a few running steps, pump their 7-1⁄2 foot wings and lift off from the salt marsh," writes Tom. But one family left early! Tom names the biggest threat the cranes face as they migrate north, and tells us why he's carefully watching one of the families. More >>

Explore: Hazards Up High Migration: A Dangerous Journey >>

Tom mentioned that the biggest threat faced by migrating cranes is something they can't even see. Texas, the wintering grounds of the Western flock, has a LOT of them. What are they?

Click on the map to see. Then click on YOUR state's map, and all states in the migration route to the nesting grounds of (1) the Western flock and (2) the Eastern flock.

How would you describe dangers to the cranes? How are leaders trying to help? See this news.
Journal Question: Why Mid-morning Departures?

Tom's report said most wild cranes start their migration about 10 in the morning. Before you answer today's question, look back for clues, and check out Up Up and Away: Thermals and Updrafts.

  • What benefit do cranes get by leaving on migration during mid-morning hours? Explain.

Write your ideas in your Journal. >>

Links: This Week's Crane Resources
  • Teachers: Getting Started >>
  • Ask the Expert: Prepare your questions to send March 23-April 6! >>
  • Connecting: Tick-Tock: Biological Clock >>
  • Reading Strategy: Ask Questions Before, During, and After Reading >>
  • After the Storm: See Operation Migration's March 14 status update >>
  • Whooping Crane Migration Journals (click-and-print) >>
  • Whooping Cranes for Kids (booklets, photos, videos) >>
More Whooping Crane Lessons and Teaching Ideas!

The Next Whooping Crane Migration Update Will Be Posted on March 30, 2007.