New Stopover Reached! (+9 Miles)
January 18, 2012: Migration Day 80*

Young Whooping cranes on their first journey south

Image: Operation Migration

The birds moved forward today! It was the second flight attempt since the journey south resumed in 2012. They are STILL in Franklin County, but no longer where they landed in December. Today's flight covered 9.2 miles by air for cranes #12, #3, #6, and #4. The other five birds (#1, 5, 7, and 10) made the distance by road after they either dropped out or turned back to land at the pen. They'll all roost tonight at the "Franklin County Short-stop." It isn't the official stopover, but at least it's a new pen and unfamiliar territory. Now the birds will be more likely to stay with their ultralight-plane leader next time they fly. We hope it's tomorrow!

* The team at Operation Migration marked the end of the stand-down period of the 2011-2012 migration and re-started the "migration clock" on January 13, with Migration Day 75.

In the Classroom: Journal or Discussion

  • "it's amazing how noticeable the birds mustaches are now," said Caleb last week. The black area in the facial mask becomes visible by the time the chicks are 200 days old. How many months old are they at that time?

The young Whooping cranes are showing the facial masks that appear as they grow up.

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