Countdown to Migration: September 19, 2008

Today's Report Includes:

  • Journal Question: Why This Order?

How are the chicks changing?
Photo Mark Chenoweth

Orientation & Welcome to New Participants >>

Chick Chat: From Three Cohorts to Two

Another landmark was checked off this week in the countdown to migration when the middle group and youngest group “moved in together” at the same pen site. Pilot Joe said, "It only took a few grapes to encourage cohort 2 to enter the strange pen. They hardly seemed to notice the other (younger) birds behind the chain link fence that divides the dry pen. We will train them separately for a few days and then put them together once they are used to each other.”

The recent weather has meant some GREAT flying days for this year's crane chicks, training for their first migration. How are they doing? See for yourself with this short video clip from the observation tower.

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

One crane drops out, but hang in there to see what happens.

Training Timeline: Red-letter Dates Timeline Events >>

On what date did the joining of Cohorts 2 and 3 happen? See milestones, links, and key events for the newest members of the Eastern flock here:

  • Key Timeline Events: Hatch Year 2008 >>
Journal Question: Why This Order?
Why do you think the middle and youngest birds are joined together first, and the oldest birds added last? Write your thoughts in your journal. Next week you can compare your ideas to those of Joe Duff, Operation Migration pilot and project leader.
Meet the Flock: Crane Quiz #3 Print the Quiz >>

In last week's quiz you learned that one chick has been responsible for the Class of 2008 being decreased by 3 birds. What’s the fate of the most recent bird to leave the flock? 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. This is the youngest chick that the team has ever worked with. Brooke calls her "The Princess."

2. Which chick will become a display bird at a zoo because she cannot migrate with the group?

3. Which chick does Bev call the swamp lover because she always makes a run for the swamp? The puppet tossed a grape that bounced off this chick's head, and she happily ate the grape.

4. Easy to train and dominant in his group, this chick had Brian Clauss saying, "That chick thinks it's better than us" at just a few days of age.

Photos Operation Migration
Meet the Flock! >>

Booklet: "Off to Flight School: Finding Their Wings" Teacher Guide >>

Why are the chicks shipped all the way to Wisconsin after hatching in Maryland? What are two reasons why they must arrive in Wisconsin before they learn to fly?

Find answers in the third booklet of our pre-migration series of six titles. Each booklet comes in a matching Web slide show as well as .pdf format ready to ready to print, fold, and enjoy.


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

Hurricane Ike: Crane Winter Habitat Safe
The winter habitat of the world's only natural flock of Whooping cranes was narrowly missed by Hurricane Ike. It's less than 150 miles down the coast from the site of Ike's landfall.
Because the entire western flock resides in one place, scientists know a single storm can threaten their survival. An oil or chemical spill at their habitat on the Gulf of Mexico is one of the top concerns for this endangered species. We send heartfelt concern for everyone affected by Hurricane Ike.
Change4Cranes: Win a Classroom Visit Details >>

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 in Wisconsin! 
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 26, 2008.

More Whooping Crane Lessons and Teaching Ideas!