Too Windy to Fly (+0 Miles)
October 13, 2010: Migration Day 4

Winds prevent a flight again today. The birds will spend the day poking in the grasses for food and flapping their wings for exercise and fun.

Meanwhile, pilot Joe Duff wrote in the Field Journal: "Trying to balance your speed so the lead birds don’t pass you, yet the trailing birds can keep up, is not easy. Often we have to pick one or the other. Number 15 kept falling behind on Day 2, so as chase pilot I eventually moved in to pick him up (that means flew close enough for him to fly near my wing). Like the others, he flew with his mouth open wide and his tongue sticking out. This showed me he was getting overheated. He rested on air currents at the wingtip of the trike until he caught his breath. But then he would drop down underneath, where it takes twice as much energy to flap-fly and keep up. . .Eventually we came across a harvested soybean field and we both landed — and sat, undisturbed, for a 20-minute rest."

In the Classroom: Journal or Discussion

  • (a) How did the pilot show his care and concern for the tired bird? Name two things he did. (b-for-bonus) Pilots need to pay close attention to see birds that tire during the flight. Listen to Joe's answer to discover: What are four signs of a tired bird?
  • Migration Math: Hatch Year (HY) 2010. How many young Whooping cranes in the new Eastern flock will be making their first migration south? View this page, then fill the blank with numbers: There are ____ colts in the ultralight-led group, plus ____ colts in the Direct Autumn Release (DAR) group, plus ____ wild-hatched colts. That makes a total of _____ HY 2010 whoopers making their first migration south. Record in your journal.

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