Whooping Crane
Whooping Crane
Whooping Crane

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December 7, 2005
Migration Day 55

Top cover plane checks out the weather aloft. Photo Operation Migration.

Going Nowhere
+0 Miles

Joe said, "It seems this entire migration has been one long weather delay punctuated by single days of great progress." After a GREAT day yesterday, today's gusty winds would make flight too dangerous. They're firmly on the ground.

The Other Wild Whoopers
Meanwhile, just one state away, 21 of the previous years’ cranes have successfully reached Florida.
And over in Texas, 216 whoopers (187 adults + 29 young) in the only natural flock are now on their wintering grounds. One more whooping crane is in extreme South Texas in Hidalgo County near Hargill. This is believed to be the 2004 juvenile that had separated from its parents last fall and spent the 2004-05 winter with sandhills near Bay City, Texas north of Aransas. It is the 217th documented in the flock this fall--a tie with last winter's record peak population of 217. An estimated 94% of the flock has completed the migration. Yesterday 3 more whoopers were reported but not confirmed. If these 3 are really there, the flock size would be at a record 220!

At the whoopers' winter home in Texas, Tom Stehn found a surprise on yesterday's flight.
The “twin” family in Sundown Bay was present with only 1 chick. He thought that a lone juvenile found about 3 miles to the south must have been one of the twins. "I have no explanation for why one of the twin juveniles is now on its own. It acted quite nervous as the airplane approached. Later in the day, two cranes believed to be a territorial pair were standing right where the juvenile had been in the morning, and thus the juvenile presumably got displaced to an unknown location. This young bird certainly may be okay, but it will have a tougher winter than if it had stayed with its parents," said Tom.

Track the Migration

Use our map or make your own with this migration data.

(Click map to enlarge.)

Keep a Migration Journal

Today's Questions: How do the pilots decide whether to skip a stop and keep going when they're having a good day? How fast do cranes normally fly? Why do the pilots each carry a little bag of grapes? Read Joe's log entry for yesterday and you'll find the answers for your journal.
A Perfect Day

History: Where was the migration on migration day 55 in 2004? How many stopovers did they skip over?




Journey North is pleased to feature this educational adventure presented in cooperation with the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership (WCEP).

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