No Go. Winds Deflate Plans (+0 Miles)
December 16, 2009: Migration Day 62

Photo Screen Capture, Operation Migration TrikeCam

This morning's cold temp (22F) and okay surface winds out of the north (1 - 4 mph) were promising. Alas, hopes were dashed by flying conditions too poor to attempt. The flight path from Hardin County, TN to Franklin County, AL goes northwest to southeast. Today's strong NNE winds could create crosswinds and a wild ride. So, this becomes Down Day #5 in Hardin County, TN. But you can join everyone in hoping for Alabama tomorrow. Chances look very good for a GO.

There IS good crane news elsewhere. From the Texas wintering grounds of the Western (natural) flock Tom Stehn sends word: "Since my last census flight on 12/10/09, I have received confirmed reports of six more Whooping cranes in the Aransas-Wood Buffalo population, including two more chicks. So the estimated flock size of 238 has now been increased to 244 (223 adults + 21 chicks). The 21 chicks accounted for indicate very good survival from the 22 that fledged in Canada this summer." (Come spring, you can track with Journey North all the world's migratory Whooping cranes, including these 20 ultralight-led chicks) on their spring returns to the nesting grounds.)

In the Classroom

  • (a) Mark Chenoweth of Whoopers Happening tells us that a recent question asked players on TV's Jeopardy was: This bird is known for its size (5 feet tall), its call (carries 2 miles) and its rarity; in 1941 there were only 21 in the wild. No one got the answer correct. How would YOU answer? (b-for-bonus) How do you explain the difference between the number of cranes at 21, as reported above, and the number of cranes at 15, which is also commonly used? (HINT: Go here, skim the text and and look for the * where the number of migratory and nonmigratory Whooping cranes is discussed.)

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