Migration 2010 Begins! (+23 Miles)
October 10, 2010: Migration Day 1

Photo Operation Migration

They're OFF! Will 10/10/10 be the lucky number? It didn't start that way, but four birds (#1, #3, #6, #8) did go the distance (23 miles). Pilot Richard launched with seven and landed with four at stopover #1 in South Juneau County, Wisconsin. The others made a game of hide and seek. Joe picked up one of Richard's dropouts and Trike Cam watchers saw that it was #15-10. He was open-mouth breathing, so Joe landed with him to give the tired bird a rest before launching again with #15-10 on his wing. By now 4 birds were safely in the travel pen at the first stopover, while trackers were hunting for three dropouts. They were found, crated, and driven the remaining two miles to stopover #1. (Are you counting?) Three other birds turned back to Necedah National Wildlife Refuge. Brooke managed to get #10-10 to follow him, but she dropped out during the flight. Trackers retrieved her from a marsh to ride the rest of the way in a crate. It may be off to a lurching start with 7 crated and four flying, but the journey south is underway. Three cheers and a big hooray!

In the Classroom: Journal or Discussion

  • (a) Why do you think the birds had such a hard time making the 23-mile fight today? (b-for-bonus) The pilots tried hard to get the dropouts to take off again and fly with the ultralight to stopover #1. Why do you think the pilots would rather have the birds fly than be crated and driven to the stopover?
  • Mapping and Charting: Use the data link (at the left) if you are mapping the migration. Chart the distance and begin to fill in the daily data chart, using a tally mark to show one fly-day. It takes about 23 days of good flying conditions to reach the goal. Go Cranes!

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