Two Flights in One! (+ 114 Miles )
November 21, 2008: Migration Day 36

Photo Joe Duff, Operation Migration

Whoop-eee! Our heroes advanced a whopping 114 miles today! They were able to skip over the planned stop and continue to Piatt County, Illinois! All 14 birds took off on the wing of today's lead pilot, Brooke. They passed over the town of Sheridan, Illinois. It was cold, but winds out of the NW aloft blew at 15 mph — giving them a great tailwind and a good reason to keep going. (Richard and his one bird, 827, flew an extra 20 miles because the bird would NOT fly over a large wind farm along the route. Richard had to go around it!) What a day to celebrate!

Today's lead pilot Brooke summed it up; "I don’t know if it was my imagination or what, but I swear our birds looked as proud of themselves as we were of them. They had been in the air 2 hours and 20 minutes, withstood teen temperatures the whole flight, and performed beyond our greatest expectations. It is still a long way to Florida, but these wonderful little guys gave us a much-needed morale boost, one we would savor the rest of the day."

Migration Update from Wisconsin:
They're gone! Yesterday (Nov. 20) we had a photo of cranes still in Wisconsin, but just as the report went up, those cranes began migration. One group included 10 Whooping cranes, including DAR bird #37-08 and #810 (the whooping crane chick pulled from the ultralight cohort). The four DAR birds that left on Nov. 17 are currently in northern Illinois.

In the Classroom

  • Today's Journal Questions:
    (a) Cranes normally fly about 35 miles per hour. With today's tailwinds aloft, what would be their estimated speed? After they landed, we learned they flew 2 hours and 20 minutes and covered 114 miles. How many miles per hour did they fly?
  • (b-for-bonus) Why do you think yesterday's strong winds out of the NNW made a good migration day for the wild cranes but not the ultralight-led cranes?


  • Migration Math: How far have they gone?
Date Miles Gained
Oct. 17  
Oct. 21  
Oct. 28  
Oct. 29  
Nov. 10  
Nov. 18  
Nov. 21  

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