Countdown to Migration: October 3, 2008

Today's Report Includes:

What's the puppet doing? What's in the costume pocket? >>
Photo Tara Urette Hood

Orientation & Welcome to New Participants >>

Chick Chat: More Air Miles Wanted!

Poor flying weather has kept the birds and pilots firmly on the ground for all but two days between September 20 and October 2. The youngest birds can fly for 7 or 8 minutes and build more stamina with each flight. The oldest birds (Cohort 1) have not yet joined combined Cohorts 2 and 3, but project leader Joe Duff feels that's okay. Last year the final blending didn't happen until September 28, two weeks before that group began migration. Just two weeks to go until the journey south begins!

Photo Heather Ray, Operation Migration

Training Timeline: Latest Milestone Timeline Events >>

A few migrating Whooping cranes — the wild cousins of the chicks in the new Eastern flock — have officially reached the U.S. on their journey south from northwestern Canada, reports USFWS's Martha Tacha. There hasn't been much flying lately, but what's the latest milestone for the young chicks in the Eastern flock's Class of 2008?

  • Key Timeline Events: Hatch Year 2008 >>

Photo Tara Urette Hood
Journal: What's Good Flight Weather? Lesson >>

The weather has caused some woes during the past few weeks of Flight School. Each morning around sunrise the pilots decide whether or not to fly. They look at the windsock, listen to weather stations or take a test flight in the ultralight.

  • What kind of weather stops the pilots from flying with the birds? Why? Think, write in your journal, then compare your ideas to those of Joe Duff, Operation Migration pilot and project leader. >>

Photo Operation Migration
Meet the Flock: Crane Quiz #5 Print the Quiz >>

This new photo shows a curious #804! 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 Crane Quiz #5! >>


Photo Tara Urette Hood
Meet the Flock! >>

Booklet: "Meet the New Eastern Flock" Teacher Guide >>

Every bird has a story. You’ve met this year's chicks, but who are the 69 older birds (the ultralight "graduates") in the new Eastern flock? For example, last fall #733 made headlines when he was lost from Nov. 23 to Nov. 28 on his first journey south.

The flock includes braves and bullies, rebels and sweeties, heroes and cranks. Meet a few in the next 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 >>

O.M.'s Contest Winner: Change4Cranes


"Wow! What an amazing opportunity it will be for us to meet the OM team! Tracking and studying the whooping cranes has been one of the most meaningful learning experiences for my students. It’s sparked a connection and a passion for wildlife conservation that will stay with them always. As I learned last year when my students raised over $550 for Change 4 Cranes, one class really can make a difference. We can’t wait!" - Lisa Harrison at the University of Chicago Lab Schools

Free Operation Migration Change4Cranes Kits still available. Join the effort!
Order Form

Lisa Harrison traveled to the Crane Fest at Necedah last month and got her photo taken in the ultralight! Ms. Harrison won Operation Migration's drawing for a classroom visit by the O.M. team. Her students will be collecting Change4Cranes for the second year. Way to go!

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: October 10, 2008.

More Whooping Crane Lessons and Teaching Ideas!