Countdown to Migration: September 5, 2008

Today's Report Includes:

What is unusual here? >>
Photo Chris Gullikson, Operation Migration

Orientation & Welcome to New Participants >>

Chick Chat: Pre-Migration Check-ups

Like many students this time of year, the chicks see their doctor for check-ups. A world-class crane veterinarian checks each chick.

While captured, each chick also gets a temporary radio transmitter put on its leg. The small device is on a colored, numbered leg band. The transmitter signals can help the migration team to locate any chick that gets separated during the upcoming journey south. With every bird so valuable, they can't risk losing a single one.

Health checks and temporary banding are important steps in the countdown to the chicks' first migration.


Why do you think the crane chick wears a hood for its exam?

Photo Operation Migration

Training Timeline: Update Timeline Events >>

You can add "chick check-ups" to your own timeline for this year's migration. Other milestones and key events for the newest members of the Eastern flock are listed here:

  • Key Timeline Events: Hatch Year 2008 >>
Meet the Flock: Crane Quiz #1 Print the Quiz >>

Do any of this year's chicks remind you of people you know? Find out when you read their life history pages. Click on their photos to meet the chicks:

  • Meet the Hatch Year 2008 Chicks >>


While you're on the chicks' biography pages, look for answers to this week's Crane Quiz:

1. Which chick is from an egg laid (but abandoned) by wild parents in the Eastern flock? (Look at "Egg Source" on each chick's page.)

2. Which chick's beak didn't close correctly for several days due to a bee sting?

3. What is the age range between the youngest chick and the oldest chick in the Class of 2008?

4. Which chick has had many "time outs" and solitary confinement for being a danger to the other chicks?

Photo WCEP

Photo Brian Clauss
Meet the Flock! >>

Booklet: "Whooping Crane Comeback" Teacher Guide >>

It's been a busy week at the Wisconsin wildlife refuge where the chicks are at "flight school." Who are these gangly and special young birds? What is that funny-looking airplane? Who wears those baggy white sacks?

Find answers in the first of six pre-migration booklets, a series starting this week. Plan on a different booklet each week to build background for the upcoming migration. Each booklet comes in a Web slide show as well as .pdf format you can print, fold, and enjoy.

This week's booklet! .pdf
Web slide show version >>

Change4Cranes: Win a Classroom Visit Details >>

The folks at Operation Migration, who conduct the chicks' fall ultralight-led migration that schools follow on Journey North, have an exciting offer for you. Sign up for their Change4Cranes kit before September 30 and you could win a classroom visit by a member of the Operation Migration team!

Free Operation Migration Change4Cranes Kit
Order Form

Whooping Crane Festival: You're Invited! 

Are you lucky enough to live anywhere near Tomah, Wisconsin? If so, come to the Whooping Crane Festival on the grounds of the nearby Necedah Airport on September 20. This festive outdoor event is everyone's chance to see the ultralight planes and meet the 2008 migration team!

Did you know?
The 16 Whooping Crane chicks now training in Wisconsin for their first migration outnumber the entire living population of whoopers just 65 years ago!

Countdown to Migration: Posted Fridays

Weekly Summaries are posted (by email) to registered participants on FRIDAYS: Sep 5, 12, 19, 26; Oct 3, 10, 17, 24, 31; Nov. 7, 14, 21 — 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 in October, 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 12, 2008.

What's the story behind this human-assisted migration? You might be surprised! >>
More Whooping Crane Lessons and Teaching Ideas!