FINAL Whooping Crane Migration Update: May 11, 2007

Today's Report Includes:

Photo Sara Zimorski, ICF

Why is a red head patch (it’s NOT feathers) a useful adaptation for a Whooping Crane? What other head adaptations help cranes survive? >>


Migration Map and Highlights: Another Migration Almost Complete
Departure Log
Migration animation >>

Arrival Log
Finish Line
Migration animation >>

Eastern Flock: With the touchdown of #509 on May 4, an estimated 52 of the 57 Whooping Cranes are home at the Finish Line! Cranes #516 and DAR 27-06 are still migrating. Crane #309 remains in New York, and #318 and DAR 33-05 are in Michigan. Again, no new nesting activity was recorded during the week. Keep up with your favorite crane in the new flock on Life story pages. We update them as information arrives. (Scroll down to "Spring 2007" at the bottom of the page).

Western Flock: Many of the breeding pairs are now incubating their eggs on the nesting grounds in Canada! It's noteworthy that a few are dawdling — or veering east of the typical flyway: there've been two confirmed sightings in Minnesota and one in extreme SE North Dakota, plus 3 mysterious sightings of a crane along the north shore of Lake Erie in Ontario. The rest are busy minding their own business. Now it's time to think about the future chicks, so let's dig in!

Chick Chat: Summer Adventures Coming

Slide Show >>

Slide Show Handout >>

The chick-rearing building in Maryland is buzzing with excitement. Operation Migration requested 20 to 24 chicks for its next ultralight-led flock, and they're up to eight!

These little fluff balls have an exciting summer ahead. They have much to learn before they fly south this fall — with an ultralight airplane leading the way. Here's a preview of their summer adventures. Use our handout to write your own photo captions! >>


Photo WCEP

New chicks have a lot to learn.

Journal: Nifty Numbers

Write answers in your journal >>

Operation Migration's Bev Paulan sums up the chick stats to date:

# Hatched Weight Weight May 8
122 grams 660 grams
150 grams 278 grams
134 grams 201 grams
127 grams 195 grams
116 grams 136 grams
135 grams 150 grams
132 grams 120 grams
154 grams  
  • (A) What is the age range between the oldest and youngest chick? (Count the number of days between their hatch dates.)
  • (B for Bonus) What's the average weight gain per day for Chick 702?
  • (C for Cranium Buster) Convert 702's weight from grams to ounces. (100 grams = 3.53 ounces)
Brian's Report: How Many Eggs Does it Take? See Brian's Answer >>

Biologist Brian Johns has a question for you:

  • How many Whooping Crane eggs does it take to make another whooping crane egg?

You'll be surprised at the answer! Brian explains. >>

Photo Dalton Muir
Tom's Report: Great Escape and Traveling Eggs See Tom's Report >>

"If I'm able to fly next week, I would expect to find between 0 and 4 cranes at Aransas NWR," writes Tom Stehn from the main flock's wintering grounds. He wonders why two Whoopers would still be in Kansas when they should be in Canada. Tom also tells us about an exciting "egg hand-off" that took place May 10 at two airports! >>

Photo Kyle McDonald


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
  • New Chicks: Eggs from Many Places >>
  • Celebrate: International Migratory Bird Day May 12 >>
  • Video and Activity: Dance Like the Cranes >>
  • Whooping Cranes for Kids (booklets, photos, videos) >>
More Whooping Crane Lessons and Teaching Ideas!

This is the FINAL Whooping Crane Migration Update for Spring 2007. Thanks for sharing the adventure. Please join us in September for the new chicks' first journey south!