Countdown to Migration: September 4, 2009

Today's Report Includes:

Cohort 1 Training Flight Sept. 3, 2009
Photo Chris Gullikson, Operation Migration

Orientation & Welcome to New Participants >>

Chick Chat: From Three Groups to Two

Welcome to an exciting season! With 22 remaining young Whooper chicks in flight school in Wisconsin, this stands to be the largest ultralight-led migration yet. Today, Sep. 4, the crew mowed the grass runway at what is called the Canfield site and divided the pen of Cohort 3 into two parts. If weather and the birds in Cohort 2 (the middle group) cooperate tomorrow, Sep. 5, the pilots will fly them over to join the youngest group. Click on Operation Migration’s wonderful new Crane Cam around 7 a.m. and you may see it happen! It’s a big step in the countdown to migration. Later this month the oldest cohort will be added and slowly worked into the group, becoming one flock before migration. An adventure begins!

Click to see the chicks LIVE on the NEW Operation Migration CraneCam! >>

TEACHERS: You may wish to block your computer's pop-up ads before clicking to Crane Cam.

Journal Question: Oldest Come Last Journal >>
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 #1 Print the Quiz >>

Will any of this year's chicks remind you of people you know? Find out when you read their life history pages. Click on these photos to meet each of the chicks:

  • Meet the Hatch Year 2009 Chicks >>

While you're on the biography pages, look for some answers. See four fun questions at the link below in our first Crane Quiz to help you know the Class of 2009:

(The quiz page includes a link to answers.)

Running and flapping are part of learning to fly. This shows #925 and #923 in August.

Meet the Flock! >>

Booklet: "Whooping Crane Comeback" Teacher Guide >>

It's been a busy week at the Wisconsin wildlife refuge where the chicks have "flight school." Who are these gangly and special young birds? What is that funny-looking flying machine? Who's inside those baggy white sacks?

Find answers in the first of six pre-migration booklets, a series starting this week. Plan on a different booklet each week to build background for the upcoming migration. Each booklet comes in a matching Web slide show as well as .pdf format ready to print, fold, and enjoy.

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

Training Timeline: Red-Letter Dates Timeline Events >>

What are some milestones and key events for the newest members of the Eastern flock? See our timeline of events. It can help you start making your own timeline as you countdown and then follow this migration:

  • Key Timeline Events: Hatch Year 2009 >>
Change4Cranes: Fun Fundraiser

The folks at Operation Migration, who conduct the chicks' fall ultralight-led migration we share on Journey North, have a fun project offer for teachers and kids. They’ll send you a Change4Cranes kit to collect people’s spare change. When sent to Operation Migration, the money raised goes to fund this historic migration. You'll know you helped make it happen. >>

Free Operation Migration Change4Cranes Kit >>

Whooping Crane Festival: You're Invited! 

Are you lucky enough to live near central Wisconsin? If so, come to the Whooping Crane Festival on the grounds of Necedah Airport on September 19. This festive outdoor event is everyone's chance to see the ultralight planes and meet the 2009 migration team!

Did you know?
The 22 Whooping Crane chicks now training in Wisconsin for their first migration outnumber the entire living population of whoopers just 67 years ago!

Countdown to Migration: Posted Fridays

Weekly Summaries are posted (by email) to registered participants on FRIDAYS: Sep 4, 11, 18, 25; Oct 2, 9, 16, 23, 30; Nov. 6, 13, 20— or until this year's newest Eastern flock chicks reach their winter homes 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!

What's the story behind this human-assisted migration? You might be surprised! >>
We'll be back with more news next Friday: September 11, 2009.
More Whooping Crane Lessons and Teaching Ideas!