Still in Windy-bago County, IL (+0 Miles)
October 25, 2010: Migration Day 16

Find Illinois, location of the cranes. From which direction are the winds today? If you were a pilot, what would be your decision about flying today? Yes, today is down-day six here, with 130.4 miles gone.

Meanwhile, two wild Whooping cranes have completed migration from Canada to Texas. They were seen October 22 on their wintering grounds at Aransas NWR. They are part of a flock that has migrated between Wood Buffalo National Park in the Northwest Territories of Canada and Aransas National Wildlife Refuge for generations. This is the only naturally migrating Whooping crane flock left in existence. Do you wonder how many wild cranes are in the world? See below.

In the Classroom: Journal or Discussion

  • (a) On this page see graphs that show the number of Whooping cranes in the world's two migratory flocks. Read the graphs and answer: How many wild cranes are in the Western flock? How many wild cranes are in the Eastern flock? The number includes the 2 wild-hatched chicks but not the chicks migrating with the ultralight plane. Why do you think they aren't yet included?
  • (b-for-bonus) The natural flock (Western flock) of whoopers will keep arriving at Aransas NWR in singles, pairs or small groups, well into December. The Class of 2010 in the new Eastern flock will likely migrate that long, too. Why can those wild Whooping cranes make swifter progress on migration than the ultralight-led chicks making their first migration? Try to think of at least two reasons. Then learn more from what pilot Joe Duff says and edit your answer if necessary:
    Why Such Short Daily Flights? by Joe Duff.

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