Another Take-off and Turn-back (+0 Miles)
November 11, 2009: Migration Day 27

Click photo to hear Joe explain this morning's events.
Video by Heather Ray, Operation Migration

For the second time this week, the birds and planes launched and headed for LaSalle County only to turn back after flying 14 hard miles in headwinds. The birds flew beautifully, but the morning was fraught with difficulties. Hear details when you listen to Joe's clip above. At 14 miles out, the headwinds and slowing speed meant another 3.5 hours to their destination. Would the fuel last? Would the birds last? They made the hard choice to turn back for Day #6 in Winnebago County, Illinois. But you'll take heart when you find the answer to today's question, below.

See the archived clips that are captured each day. (The CraneCam is ready to film the 10,000 mile celebration when the birds reach LaSalle County, but this will not happen today as hoped.)

In the Classroom

  • (a) How are they doing? Check this page and fill in the blank: If the birds fly the next leg any day up to and including (date) _____ they will still be beating last year's migration timeline.
  • (b-for-bonus) So far, 26 of the crane-kids' wild cousins are already done migrating to Texas! At their wintering grounds on Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, biologist Tom Stehn says, "A record 71 different Whooping cranes have been at Quivira NWR in central Kansas since the first of November. So the birds are really stacked up with reports mostly coming from Kansas and Oklahoma the past 3-4 days. I expect the count at Aransas to rise dramatically in the next 5-10 days since Whooping cranes can easily make it from Kansas to Texas in a week if they decide to move and a cold front provides the push to get them going." How can a cold front be helpful to birds migrating south? (HINT: What direction do the winds blow and what are the temperatures like? For more help with this question, click here.)

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