Ten Home at St. Marks! (+28 Miles)
January 13, 2010: Migration Day 82

Brooke delivers ten of the Class of 2009 to their new winter home!
Photo: Heather Ray, Operation Migration

Today the St. Marks Ten (906, 908, 910, 911, 912, 914, 915, 918, 925 and 926) landed at their new winter home! They created a world of excitement for the craniacs who came to celebrate their arrival. After a delay for frost and a pilot test flight by "wind test dummy" Richard, pilot Brooke launched the very last ultralight flight for these ten. But the birds gave him a tough contest. They showed their independence by trying to break away instead of following. Then they split. But Brooke and his 'wingmen' (Matt, Richard, and Chris) were expert air shepherds. They got the birds high over the heads of the excited crowd. This year Joe was with the onlookers to answer questions and celebrate with everyone waiting to welcome and offer sanctuary to some of North America's most beautiful and most endangered birds. Migration complete at 1113 miles!

The ten birds going to "Chass" NWR are waiting back in their Jefferson County pen until the next fly day. They are three flights away from completing their migration.

CraneCam was live on the scene. See the archived footage to "be there" yourself!


In the Classroom

(a) How did this year's arrival date for the St. Marks group compare with last year's arrival date? Using information on this page, do you predict this year's Chass group will finish earlier or later than last year's Chass group?
(b-for-bonus) It took the work of dozens of hardworking people to make this joyous day happen. You may be surprised to know all the effort behind it. Hundreds of workers included a work crew from the prison. The men slogged through the dense underbrush in the heat of the summer to carve out the half-mile foot path to the pen so the winter monitoring staff can check the birds and their food and water. For what do you, or would you be willing to, volunteer your time and efforts? Why do people volunteer? What would you say to all the volunteers who help the Operation Migration team all along the migration?

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