No Go. Foggy, Windy, Warm (+0 Miles)
December 14, 2009: Migration Day 60

"When are we leaving?"
Photo Operation Migration

In the western Valley of the Tennessee River, it's Down Day #3 in Hardin County, TN. The morning is foggy. Warm south winds mean warm and getting warmer, heading for a high of 61F by afternoon. Winds out of the SW aloft are blowing at 35mph—impossible for cranes and planes.

Meanwhile, all but 11 Whooping Cranes were gone from the new Eastern flock's summer home in Wisconsin by December 7. All nine Direct Autumn Release (DAR) chicks in the Class of 2009 are migrating, but the last 7 DAR chicks (32-09, 34-09, 35-09, 36-09, 37-09, 40-09 and 41-09) didn't leave Necedah NWR until snowy Dec. 11! Were they with older cranes who could show them the way? How far did they get? Did they stay together? Where are they now? Click on their numbers and read more on their bio pages.


CraneCam is live each day from about 6:30 to 10:00 a.m. and again from 3:30 to 4:30 in the afternoon. TrikeCam is live during migration flights.

In the Classroom

  • (a) Where are DAR chicks 38-09 and 42-09? Check their bio pages to find out. What are they doing that experts hoped and expected they would do? Based on the behavior of the DAR chicks so far, do you predict they will have a successful fall migration? (b-for-bonus) In the three days the other 7 DAR chicks have been on their first-ever migration, they have accumulated a total of 430 miles. Why is their progress so much farther and faster than the ultralight-led chicks, who have been migrating 60 days and covered 645 miles? Try to give one reason about natural factors and one reason about human-made factors.

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