Touchdown at St. Marks NWR! (+28 Miles)
December 15, 2010: Migration Day 67

Photo Judy Lyle

Time to WHOOP! Led by pilot Brooke, the St. Marks Five (#1, 5, 6, 8, and 10) are safe at their new winter home! They created a world of excitement for the craniacs who came to see their arrival flyover. The birds and trikes departed Jefferson County at 7.56 and flew over the silent celebration crowd at 8:58. Everyone broke into cheers and applause after they passed overhead. What a glorious sight! After delivering the birds the pilots, return to celebrate with everyone waiting to welcome and offer sanctuary to some of North America's most beautiful and most endangered birds. Migration complete!

Meanwhile, the five birds going to "Chass" NWR are still back in their Gilchrist County pen. The very next fly day (tomorrow?) will bring their own Arrival Flyover Event and celebration as the Class of 2010 completes their first journey south. (See directions to the Chass flyover celebration here.)

In the Classroom: Journal or Discussion

(a) How many total miles did the St. Marks Five fly to complete their migration? This day didn't happen for the Class of 2009 until January 11, 2010. That's another cause to celebrate!

(b-for-bonus) It took the work of dozens of hardworking people to make this joyous day happen. You may be surprised to know all the effort behind it. Hundreds of workers included a work crew from the prison. The men slogged through the dense underbrush in the heat of the summer to carve out the half-mile foot path to the pen so the winter monitoring staff can check the birds and their food and water. For what do you, or would you be willing to, volunteer your time and efforts? Why do people volunteer? What would you say to all the volunteers who help the Operation Migration team all along the migration?

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