Windy Sunday on the Ground (+0 Miles)
November 16, 2008: Migration Day 31

Photo Heather Ray, Operation Migration

Photo Heather Ray. Operation Migration

Joe launched in his trike to test the wind conditions. It took him 3 minutes to climb to a thousand feet and about 20 seconds to know it was too rough to fly the birds to LaSalle County today. Liz reported, "Even from the ground we could see him rocking and rolling as he fought the wind to return to the runway." It took 7 minutes to return! Alas, down-day six in Winnebago County.

That's when Heather and John pulled on their rubber boots and white costumes to walk the half mile to the travel pen and check on the crane-kids. Heather's report: "It's always a quiet walk out to the pen and I love that moment when — just as we crest the small knoll that hides the pen from view — we see 14 tawny heads positioned as high as they possibly can in hopes of catching a glimpse of the costumes coming. After shutting off the electric fence, we entered the pen to check the water buckets and feed containers. This morning we had to remove a thick layer of ice in each water bucket before we could add fresh water. After I kicked the ice with the heel of my boot to break it, the birds had fun trying to pick up the slippery pieces of ice. John refilled the water containers and I filled uptheir supply of crane chow.

"It has rained a lot since we arrived here last Monday so there's about 5 inches of goopy black mud that the birds love to probe. It amazes me how they stay so clean, especially when it took only 20 minutes in the pen before John and I were both covered in mud. Just before leaving we split another pumpkin for the birds to carve up so they should be busy for most of the day. If they run out of pumpkin they can have fun trying to catch the fat snowflakes that are now falling."

Sunday today; no Classroom Activities.

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