Countdown to Migration: October 9, 2009 Orientation & Welcome to New Participants

Today's Report Includes:

How is the migration route begun last fall different from the route used from 2001 until 2008?
Think. . .then link

Chick Chat: Ready, Set, Almost Time to Go

The class of 2009 is all in one pen now, and getting along great! No training for the past several days of bad weather meant all 21 birds had never flown together—until today. It was chaos! The pilots had wanted to lead them to a distant part of the refuge to spend “migration eve” in the portable travel pen but they just wouldn't leave. They will try that important move again tomorrow instead of leaving on migration. (See Timeline.)

Meanwhile, the migration team has hustled to update two travel pens to hold this year’s larger flock, find supplies for both birds and people, grease wheel bearings, fill propane tanks, load bird feed and treats, pack bags with personal gear, and more. Are they excited? Yes!

The migration covers about 1,285 miles in seven states. It's a grand adventure for birds only four to seven months old.
When will they take off? The weather will decide! We’ll post a news flash and daily Web reports on Migration Day 1. Go cranes!

They got out for exercise this week, but no training withthe ultralights due to weather.

Photo Operation Migration

Two pens like the one below will travel with the birds.

Photo Operation Migration

Meet the Team: Crane Quiz #6 Print the Quiz 

How many kids can say their dad flies with Whooping cranes? You'll find out when you meet the dedicated team that will lead the chicks on their first journey south. Click on photos that lead to the facts, here:

Photo Mark Chenoweth

Some of the Team

Booklet: "Meet the New Eastern Flock" Teacher Guide

You’ve met this year's chicks, but who are the 77 older birds (the ultralight "graduates") in the new Eastern flock? The flock includes braves and bullies, rebels and sweeties, heroes and cranks. One was expelled for being so mean and dangerous. One made headlines two years ago when he was lost for six long days on his journey south with the ultralights.

Every bird has a story! Meet a few more in the next of our pre-migration booklet/slide show series: “Meet the New Eastern Flock." See the Teacher Guide to extend your discoveries.


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. Thank you, Operation Migration and Duke Energy!

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

Weekly Migration Summaries: 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 free Change4Cranes kits for you:

Daily on the Web: October 11, 2009— or WhenThe Journey South begins!
More Whooping Crane Lessons and Teaching Ideas!