Whoopers Away! (+63 Miles)
December 8, 2011: Migration Day 61

Young Whooping cranes airborne with ultralight plane.

Today's lead pilot was Joe.
Image: Operation Migration TrikeCam

What a day! All nine loyal, wonderful birds winged their way to the final stop in Kentucky today, knocking off another 63 miles. We hope Marshall County, Kentucky will be a one-night stand. The weather forecast also looks good for flghts the next two days! Challenge: Watch the next flight live on the TrikeCam and see how long the bird in the "sweet spot" glides without flapping its wings. Watching for a brief time today, we saw these glide times: 12 seconds, 12 seconds, 6 seconds, 6 seconds, 15 seconds, 3 seconds. What was the average? What do you think will be the longest glide time you can spot?

In the Classroom: Journal or Discussion

(a) Brooke flew with #3, #9, #12. Which birds did Joe have?(b) How many total miles have the birds flown? Color another completed state on your journal map. What state will they enter on the next flight? (see Data)

At 8:54 they were 17 miles from their destination. They took off at 7:32. How fast did they fly? If they kept that speed and winds didn't change, how long would it take to cover the 63-mile leg? Actual landing time was 9:41. How long were they in the air? (d-for-bonus) Calculate the distance of the next leg. Now, be the pilot: If the ultralights carry enough fuel to fly about 3 hours, would you try to skip ahead to the next stop? If not, why not?

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