Countdown to Migration: October 2, 2009 Orientation & Welcome to New Participants >>

Today's Report Includes:

Photo Vickie Henderson
How is this adult crane preparing for migration? >>


Chick Chat: All Together! 

This week brought moving day for Cohort One. Finally, all 21 chicks are living together! Although the nine new arrivals are still fenced off from the younger birds while penned, the entire group of 21 mingled together outside after Wednesday's training sessions. When adult #509 tried to interrupt, some of the chicks tried to chase him off.

Moving wasn't easy. It took two days! On Sep. 25, four chicks kept turning back to the comfort of their old pen. Finally, Chris and Brooke were each able to keep one chick in the air, and they flew over to the new pen. That left two holdouts behind. Their next good flying weather didn't come until Sep. 30, four days later. Their job now is learning to get along together before their first journey south.


Cohort One chicks moved to the big pen with the other 12 chicks on September 26 and September 30.

Photo Walt Sturgeon

CraneCam: Ringside Seat

The world's first online Whooping Crane Cam is here! Operation Migration is thrilled to give all Craniacs a ringside seat for this migration. If the team finds connectivity at remote stopover locations, you may be able to watch each morning's departure as the cranes and planes make their way south on a journey of over 1,200 miles. The CraneCam will also deliver views of the Class of 2009 in their travel pen after each migration flight leg is completed. After migration, the CraneCam will be set up at Florida's St. Mark's National Wildlife Refuge. That means we can watch the young cranes as they mature over the winter and get ready for spring's journey north, with no human help. Amazing sights are ahead. Thank you, Operation Migration and Duke Energy!

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

Flight School training usually happens sometime between 7 and 8 a.m. (Wisconsin time) on good-weather mornings.

Meet the Flock: Crane Quiz #5 Print the Quiz >>

Everybirdy moving in together meant a big week for the chicks, and some of the bio pages show new events:

  • Meet the Hatch Year 2009 Chicks >>

While you're on these bio pages, look for answers to our fifth Crane Quiz on the Class of 2009:

(The quiz page includes a link to answers.)

Photo Operation Migration

The chicks burst out of the pen, excited to fly with the ultralight!

Booklet: "Countdown to Migration" Teacher Guide >>

October 10 is the target date for the chicks' departure on the biggest adventure of their lives: their first journey south.

The cranes just show up and fly, but the crew has a lot to do! What’s on their job list right now? What is the "sweet spot" — and what makes it so important to the birds in flight?

Find answers in “Countdown to Migration,” next in our pre-migration series of six titles. Each booklet comes in a matching Web slide show as well as .pdf format ready to ready to print, fold, and enjoy. See Teacher Guide to extend the learning.


Web slide show version >>

Training Timeline: Latest Milestones Timeline Events >>

You can add "all chicks at one pen site" to your own timeline for this year’s chicks. The chicks have grown nearly as tall as some team members when they lift their beaks up high. See other milestones and key events for this year's chicks:

  • Key Timeline Events: Hatch Year 2009 >>
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 (expected October 10), 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!

The folks at Operation Migration, who conduct the chicks' fall ultralight-led migration that we share on Journey North, still have some Change4Cranes kits:

Get your Free Operation Migration Change4Cranes Kit >>

More news next Friday: October 9, 2009—ONE DAY before migration!
More Whooping Crane Lessons and Teaching Ideas!