Countdown to Migration: September 11, 2009

Today's Report Includes:

What is this? >>
Photo Richard van Heuvelen, Operation Migration

Orientation & Welcome to New Participants >>

Chick Chat: Health Checks Nonfiction: "The Hurdle of Health Checks" >>

Like many students this time of year, the chicks get check-ups from their doctor. A world-class crane veterinarian checks each chick. While captured, each chick also gets a temporary radio transmitter put on its leg. The small device is on a colored, numbered leg band. The transmitter signals can help the migration team to locate any chick that gets separated during the upcoming journey south. With every bird so valuable, they can't risk losing a single one. Along with combining all the chicks into one unified flock, health checks and banding are important steps in the countdown to the chicks' first migration.

Meanwhile, several other young Whooping cranes in Wisconsin are being readied for their first fall migration. These are the DAR (Direct Autumn Release) birds. They'll soon get health checks and permanent bands. Like the ultralight-led chicks, each DAR chick has its own bio page on Journey North. But unlike the ultra-chicks, the DAR youngsters are expected to follow older Whooping cranes as they head south for the winter. Meet them! >>

Photo Richard van Heuvelen
Operation Migration
Chick gets weighed. Why do you think the crane chick wears a hood for its exam?

Journal: Joe’s Reply Video Clip >>
Last week we asked a question about blending the 3 cohorts into one group. Why do you think the middle and youngest birds are joined together first, and the oldest birds added last? Now you can compare your ideas to those of Joe Duff, Operation Migration pilot and project leader:

"From Three Groups to One" >>
(Joe’s Video Clip plus Printed Text Version)
Meet the Flock: Crane Quiz #2 Print the Quiz >>

In last week's quiz you calculated the age difference between the oldest and the youngest chick at 32 days. How do you suppose age difference affects the chicks' personalities and training progress? Click on photos here to learn more about individual chicks:

  • Meet the Hatch Year 2009 Chicks >>

While you're on the bio pages, look for answers to four fun questions in our second Crane Quiz on the Class of 2009:

(The quiz page includes a link to answers.)

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

Booklet: "Who Am I? Imprinting" Teacher Guide >>

Why must everyone within eyesight of the baby cranes hide in baggy white sacks and always keep silent? How do these chicks know they are Whooping cranes and not another kind of bird? Find out how experts help these baby cranes imprint correctly on their species as they are being raised and trained.

Imprinting is the topic of the second booklet of our pre-migration series of six titles. Plan on a different booklet each week to build background for the coming migration. Each 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 >>

On what date did the pre-migration health checks take place? What other events will you add to your own timeline of milestones and key events for the story of the Class of 2009?

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

The folks at Operation Migration, who conduct the chicks' fall ultralight-led migration that 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 September 19: You're Invited! 

This festive outdoor event on the grounds of Necedah Airport on September 19 is everyone's chance to meet the 2009 migration team, see the ultralight planes, and keep an eye out for wild white whoopers flying overhead!

Countdown to Migration: Posted Fridays
Bookmark the Whooping Crane Home Page

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! >>
More news next Friday: September 18, 2008.
More Whooping Crane Lessons and Teaching Ideas!