Countdown to Migration: September 12, 2008

Today's Report Includes:

What is this? >>
Photo Richard van Heuvelen, Operation Migration

Orientation & Welcome to New Participants >>

Chick Chat: From Sixteen to Fifteen

It was an eventful week at Flight School in Wisconsin.

  • The migration departure date is now targeted for October 17. How old will the youngest chick be on that date?
  • The class of 2008 went from 16 birds to 15 birds this week. One chick, injured by an attack by her brother on June 28, will not migrate with her flock mates. The stress of the attack resulted in poor feather growth and damaged her ability to fly.

Meanwhile, another six young Whooping cranes in Wisconsin are being readied for release to follow older cranes on migration this fall. These are the DAR (Direct Autumn Release) birds. Like the ultralight-led chicks, each DAR chick has its own bio page on Journey North. >> Meet them!

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

Visit a training session in this clip! Listen for the crane brood call (Crane-glish for “follow me!”) playing over the plane’s loudspeaker. What else do you hear?

Training Timeline: Red-letter Dates Timeline Events >>

Which events from the past week will you add to your own timeline for this year's migration? See milestones, links, and key events for the newest members of the Eastern flock here:

  • Key Timeline Events: Hatch Year 2008 >>
Meet the Flock: Crane Quiz #2 Print the Quiz >>

In last week's quiz you learned that the age difference between the oldest and the youngest chick is 41 days. 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 Hatch Year 2008 Chicks >>


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

1. Which chick survived an attack by her brother, only to be so stressed that her feathers didn't grow well enough for her to stay with the Class of 2008?

2. Which DAR (Direct Autumn Release) chick is still timid and easily spooked?

3. Which Cohort 3 chick was the first in her group to fledge, and is the best flier in that group?

4. Which chick has been responsible for the loss of three birds in the Class of 2008?

Photo WCEP

Photo Chris Gullikson
Meet the Flock! >>

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 they are being raised and trained.

That's the topic of the second booklet of our pre-migration series of six titles. Plan on a different booklet each week to build background for the coming migration. Each comes in a matching Web slide show as well as .pdf format ready to 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 September 20: You're Invited! 
Countdown to Migration: Posted Fridays
Bookmark the Whooping Crane Home Page

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 19, 2008.

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