Whooping Crane Migration Update: May 4, 2007

Today's Report Includes:

Hey, Baby! Meet #706

Photo Bev Paulan, WCEP
More Chick News >>


Migration Map and Highlights: A Little Bit of Everything
Departure Log
Click for migration animation >>

Arrival Log
Finish Line
Migration animation >>

Eastern Flock: An estimated 51 of the 59 Whooping Cranes are home at the Finish Line and the last three finally began migration from Florida. Crane #309 remains in New York, and #318 and DAR 33-05 remain in Michigan. No new nesting activity was recorded during the week. Two deaths were reported in Florida: Crane #523 and young #615, who was the sole survivor of the ultralight-led Class of 2006. He may have died from swallowing something metal. It's been a year of heartbreaking losses; yet, the new chicks hatching bring hope for a better year ahead.

Western Flock: The huge flurry of migration has ebbed. Excellent migration conditions over the last two weeks have allowed most of the cranes to complete their 2,500-mile migration to Canada for another breeding season, and spring has arrived on the nesting grounds!

Journal Questions: Finding Home Listen! Joe Duff's Thoughts >>

Direct-Autumn Release (DAR) #27-06 finally left Florida this week. It's his first journey north, so how will he know where and when to stop? Listen to Joe's audio clip to help you think about today's questions:

  • (A) How do the birds know when they've reached home?
  • (B for Bonus) What's a Whooper doing here? How might the recent Whooper sighting in Ontario be explained? >>

Write your ideas in your journal. >>

What's a Whooper Doing Here? >>

Western Flock: Stragglers in Texas? See Tom's report >>

One of the cranes probably still on the wintering grounds is the Lobstick crane that has never migrated north after being severely injured as a juvenile in April 2004. It's hanging out with two other cranes and Tom hopes they'll talk him into flying north with them.

But what if those cranes never migrate? Tom shares his thoughts, showing us all that scientists consider possible answers when they can't know for certain. More in Tom's report.>>

Western Flock: Nesting in Canada See Brian's report >>

Biologist Brian Johns has exciting news! Most of the cranes are now back at their summer home in the marshes of Wood Buffalo National Park. A late pair was still in Saskatchewan on April 30 but should be arriving on the breeding grounds any day now.

Around May 15 Brian begins aerial surveys to look for new nests. Will last summer's record 62 nesting pairs set another record? See more photos and hear Brian's predictions. >>

Photo Brian Johns
Chick Chat: Six New Arrivals! How are the chicks named? >>

It's busy at the chick-rearing building in Maryland! Six more chicks have hatched to join #702, and more are coming. Chick #703 hatched on Apr 29. The next day #704 and #705 hatched. Chick #706 came on May 1, #707 on and #708 on May 3.

Operation Migration's Bev Paulan is delighted to help care for the chicks. Click on chick photos to learn more.

Operation Migration requested 20 to 24 chicks for its next ultralight-led flock. Next week you'll meet more!

Photo Bev Paulan, WCEP

Chick #708 gets a drinking lesson.

Year-end Evaluation: Please Share Your Thoughts! >>

Will you take a few minutes to complete our Year-end Evaluation?

Only with your help can we document Journey North's reach, impact and value. The information you provide is critical for planning new initiatives and for improving Journey North. Thank you!

Year-end Evaluation >>

This Week's Crane Resources
  • Video: Fly Away Home — and Beyond >>
  • Lesson: Adaptations That Help Cranes Survive >>
  • Lesson/Graph: The Challenges of Whooping Crane Survival >>
  • Story: How the Canadian Nesting Grounds Were Discovered >>
  • Questions and Answers: Expert Answers to Your Whooping Crane Questions >>
  • Whooping Crane Migration Journals (click-and-print) >>
  • Whooping Cranes for Kids (booklets, photos, videos) >>
More Whooping Crane Lessons and Teaching Ideas!

The FINAL Whooping Crane Migration Update Will Be Posted on May 11, 2007.