No Go. Still Waiting at 2009's End (+0 Miles)
December 31, 2009: Migration Day 69


After 702 miles of progress in 69 days, the Class of 2009 will end the year grounded in Franklin County Alabama. Rain, a low cloud ceiling and winds from the south are making sure of that. It's been a long stay in at this spot. But many school kids and teachers on the migration path ahead are looking forward to visits from Team members as the migration continues in New Year 2010.

Meanwhile, none of the flock's older cranes or this year's 9 DAR chicks moved much in the past two weeks either. Where are the older whoopers of the new Eastern flock as 2009 ends? As of December 26, the 85 birds included 2 in Illinois, 28 in Indiana, 10 in Tennessee, 2 in Alabama (and the 20 ultralight-led Class of 2009, who will not be added into the official total until they reach their Florida homes), 3 in Georgia, 2 in South Carolina, 5 in Florida, and 26 birds of unknown location. Seven Whooping cranes in this flock have been missing for a few months to several months. Experts do not know their status.


In the Classroom

  • (a) Today is the last day of 2009 and many cranes are still in migration. What would you tell the young crane-kids making their first journey south? Looking back, what in YOUR life took longer than you thought it would? How do you feel about it now? How will YOU end the year?
  • (b-for-Bonus) Pilot and weather expert Chris Gullikson explains, "Ideally, we want to be located to the east of weak high pressure system because the counterclockwise flow around the high gives us gentle north winds." Will it be tomorrow? See today's weather map above for the cranes' location and make your prediction about whether they will fly on New Years Day 2010. (Click here for more weather and climate resources.)

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