No Go. Gusts Ground Team Again (+0 Miles)
November 12, 2009: Migration Day 28

Look at this display wing and see today's questions.
Photo by Cindy Loken at Necedah Crane Fest 2009

The air is cool (good): Cool air is denser than warm air, and each downward push of the birds' wings produces more lift. The birds take in more oxygen with each breath.

But the winds are strong from the south (bad): "Anyone who has ever tried to run while chest deep in water knows the frustration of a headwind," wrote pilot Joe Duff. "It’s like the dream you have of being chased by something evil while you try to escape on legs that feel mysteriously sluggish."

Yesterday those winds spoiled a historic flight over the 10,000 mile mark for Operation Migration, and today they prevented it again. In answer to yesterday's journal question, they will still be beating last year's migration timeline if the birds fly the next leg any day up to and including November 17. Keep your fingers crossed!

In the Classroom

  • (a) The hand is showing where the wing attaches to the Whooping crane’s body. If this were attached to a living crane, would the bird be facing to the right or to the left? (b-for-bonus) Notice the curve of the wing. How does this help a crane stay up in the air? (HINT: See "How Birds Fly")
  • Joe wrote about turning back in yesterday's rough air: "At 47 minutes into the flight we were only 14 miles from the take-off point. The birds were strong and following beautifully but the numbers on the GPS were in conflict with the fuel we had left, and we made the hardest decision of the migration." What has been a very hard decision for YOU in your life? How do you feel now about your decision? Was it a good decision at the time?

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