Whooping Crane
Whooping Crane
Whooping Crane

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December 12, 2005
Migration Day 60

Over the Border to FLORIDA!
+99 Miles

After 60 days on the road and in the air, the finish line is just one more flight away. After the incredible hassles of December 10 and 11, imagine the excitement as the weather and birds all finally cooperated today! Joe launched with all 19 birds behind him. (How do you think he felt?) When 8 birds soon broke away from his wing, Chris and Richard zoomed in. They had their hands full as they tried to wrangle the birds on course. But after about 15 minutes of back-and-forth, the 8 birds decided they would behave and follow the planes. Maybe they suddenly remembered what it was like to be crated and driven yesterday! At 9:37 AM, all 19 birds were safe on the ground in Gilchrist County, FLORIDA. They flew 99 miles, for a total of 1,116.4 miles gone!

Arrival Fly-over TOMORROW?
The pilots and crew are preparing for the long-awaited BIG DAY: the arrival celebration and public fly-over at Dunnellon Municipal Airport. The weather for tomorrow looks promising for the last flight for Migration 2005. The public is invited to view the cranes and planes descending to land at their final (temporary?) 2005 destination at Halpata Preserve. Viewers coming to the airport should dress warmly and be in place by 8:00 AM.
Remember: Bad weather means the event could be postponed. They won't know until moments before take-off. The whooping crane hotline at 904-232-2580 extension 124 will be updated the minute a "go"/no go" decision is made.

A Celebration Short Story
Imagine you are a young whooping crane, listening to a wise older crane tell you this story in the year 2200: My Great Story: Whooping Cranes Year 2200. (This wonderful poem was written by a loyal "craniac" named Kathy Miner.) Look up the definition of the word colt in our glossary before you read the page.

Track the Migration

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

(Click map to enlarge.)

Keep a Migration Journal

Today's Question: Enjoy My Great Story: Whooping Cranes Year 2200 and then choose from these questions:

List clues that give facts about the whoopers' first historic ultralight-led migration, which began with eight birds. (To learn more about the historic first year, click on Year One, Fall 2001.)
Who are the Great White-winged Ones? Who are the silent, shapeless creatures? Why doesn't the crane in the story know what became of them?
Many points of view are in this unfolding story. Choose one, as author Kathy Miner did. Write your own tribute, poem, rap, or story from that point of view. TIP: Think about the "players" in this great drama, which has been called the conservation equivalent of putting a man on the moon. Think about the pilots, ground crew, citizens who live under the flight path, refuge workers who see the flock grow year by year, biologist who help train the newly hatched chicks and go with them on migration, one of the oldest flock members, or one of the youngest flock members. We invite you to send your work to share with other readers on this Web site!

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

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