Migration 2008 is Underway! (+4 Miles)
October 17, 2008: Migration Day 1

Photo Jane Duden


Whoopeeeee! Fourteen young Whooping cranes took off behind Joe Duff's ultralight this morning to start their first journey south. Eight flew with Joe to the new landing spot, but six had their own plans. Young #827 dropped out in the marsh but later flew behind Brooke's plane to the new site. Cranes #803, #804 and #805 wanted to go home, and finished the trip by road in the tracking van. No one ever expects the first days to go smoothly, but thanks to the hardworking team, all is well!

Only Four Miles?
They flew four miles, just far enough to get them to unfamiliar territory. The team has learned this is a good way to start. It's ensures the chicks pay attention to the trike, and gives the birds a successful first flight without tiring them. They're OFF, for what we hope is a swift and safe migration for all!


In the Classroom

  • Today's Journal Question:
  • (a) Why did the team plan such a short flight for the crane's first day away from the refuge? Give two reasons.
    (b-for-bonus) The team needs about 23 good flight days to cover the nearly 1250-mile migration (last year's mileage)
    . If they fly tomorrow and every day after that, on what date would they arrive at their winter home in Florida? How likely do you think this would be?
  • Migration History: Now you can start filling in your migration comparison chart. How does this year's departure date compare with past years? Make some predictions for the other categories on the chart and see what happens. Revise your predictions as new information comes in.

Journey North is pleased to feature this educational adventure presented in cooperation with the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership (WCEP).