Countdown to Migration: September 14, 2007

Today's Report Includes:

Which chick?
Photo Operation Migration

Orientation & Welcome to New Participants

Chick Chat: Let's Get Together

Until last week, the chicks were training in three groups because of their age differences. You can imagine that joining all 17 chicks into one flock is a big step in the countdown to migration. The process has begun! The youngest and the middle-aged birds (nine of the 17 chicks) are now learning how to be together as a group. Project leaders say they are “being socialized into one cohort.” Later, the oldest eight cranes will join these nine.

Visit a training session with a look at this quick clip. You'll hear the crane's brood call (Crane-glish for “follow me!”) playing over the plane’s loudspeaker. WHat else do you hear? It’s almost as good as being there!

Meanwhile, another ten young Whooping Crane chicks in Wisconsin are being readied for release to follow older cranes on migration this fall. These are the DAR (Direct Autumn Release) birds.

Crane-kids in Flight!
Watch it Now (7 seconds)

Listen for (1) the sound of the tiny plane’s engine and (2) the brood call.

Journaling: A Question About Timing
Why do you think the middle and youngest birds are joined together first, and the oldest birds added last? (Next week we’ll share what pilot and team leader Joe Duff says about this.)
Timeline: A Red-letter Date Timeline Events >>

When will the journey south begin? Based on progress and other factors so far, estimated departure date for the ultralight-led migration is now set for October 10. (It’s just a best guess, as the weather rules the whole migration.) Are you making a timeline? Add the target departure date, and see other milestones and key events for the newest members of the Eastern flock listed here:

  • Key Timeline Events: Hatch Year 2007 >>
Meet the Flock: Crane Quiz #2 Print the Quiz >>

What is the age difference between the youngest and the oldest chick this year? See their hatch dates on their life history pages. How do you suppose age difference affects the chicks' training progress and flying skills? Click on photos here to learn more about each chick:

  • Meet the Flock, Hatch Year 2007 >>

While you're on the chicks' biography pages, look for answers to 3 questions in this week's Crane Quiz.

Meet the Flock! >>
Photo WCEP

Booklet: "Who Am I? Imprinting" Teacher Guide >>

Why must everyone within eyesight of the baby cranes hide in baggy white sacks and always keep silent? How do these chicks know they are Whooping Cranes and not another kind of bird? Find out how experts help these baby cranes imprint correctly on their species as you think about how these cranes are being raised and trained. That's the topic of the second booklet of our pre-migration series of six titles. Plan on another booklet each week as a great way to build background for the coming migration. Each booklet comes in a matching Web slide show as well as .pdf format ready to print, fold, and enjoy.

  • "Who Am I? Imprinting" (Printer-friendly, downloadable kids' booklet). pdf >>
  • Web slideshow version >>

This week's booklet! >>
Web slideshow version >>

Change4Cranes: Win a Classroom Visit Details >>

The folks at Operation Migration, who conduct the chicks' fall ultralight-led migration that Journey North reports, have an exciting offer for you. Sign up for their Change4Cranes kit (free) BEFORE SEPTEMBER 30 and you could be one of three winners in an October 1 drawing. The prize is a classroom visit by a member of the Operation Migration team!

Free Change4Cranes Kit
Order Form

Countdown to Migration: Posted Fridays
Bookmark the Whooping Crane Home Page

Weekly Summaries are posted (by email) to registered participants on FRIDAYS: Sep 7, 14, 21, 28; Oct 5, 12, 19, 26; Nov. 2, 9, 16 . . . or until this year's newest Eastern flock chicks reach their winter home in Florida!

Pre-migration: Each Friday before migration, a brief e-mail notice gives current newsy tidbits and announces a downloadable booklet for building background knowledge.
During migration: When migration begins (October 10 or after), the Friday e-mails will summarize the DAILY Highlight Updates that were posted on the Web during the week. You'll want to go to the Web for the latest maps, facts, photos, and fun!

We'll be back with more news next Friday: September 21, 2007.

More Whooping Crane Lessons and Teaching Ideas!