Countdown to Migration: September 2, 2011

Next month, 10 young Whooping cranes, now called colts, will take off on the longest journey of their young lives: a migration of more than 1,200 miles to Florida. Get to know these quirky crane-kids in Craniac Quiz #1 and explore the story in our slideshow/booklet, "Whooping Crane Comeback."

Today's Report Includes:

Image of the Week
Image: Operation Migration

Heads up: What's about to change?
Think...then link


Welcome: What's Ahead Orientation & Welcome to New Participants
Next month, 10 young Whooping cranes, now called colts, will take off on the longest journey of their young lives: a migration of more than 1,200 miles to Florida for the winter. Will they be ready? How long will it take? When the crane-kids start to migrate, you'll have a front-row seat with Journey South! But first, for the next six Fridays, we’ll countdown to migration with the latest chick chat, crane quiz questions about the Class of 2011, and a series of slideshows.

Image: Doug Pellerin
Chick Chat: Learning to Follow

The 10 chicks born in April, May and June are living and training in one group at their new Wisconsin summer home on White River Marsh. Progress of this year's group is behind compared to groups in previous years; they don't yet fly as long or as far. This week's highlight came when one of the ultralight planes had five colts launch and stay with the plane for several airborne minutes. Like you, they're learning that practice makes perfect.

Video Clip: Aug. 28 Training Flight
Video: Operation Migration

Meet the Flock: Craniac Quiz #1 Print the Quiz 

Do any of this year's chicks remind you of people you know? Find out when you click on each photo to read the chick's bio page:

Now dig in, detectives! Search the bio pages for answers to four fun questions:

This crane is the Class of 2011's ace flyer. Search bio pages for the answer!
Journal Question: Number Names Journey South Journal

Each chick in the new Eastern Flock has a number as a lifelong name. The first part of the number tells the order in which the chick hatched this spring. It is followed by a dash and the number 11, which stands for their birth year (2011).

Journal Question:
“What does the number #10-11 tell you about a crane? Why do you think scientists use numbers instead of names?”

Teachers: Choose “Responding to Journal Questions” from our collection of Journey South journal pages.

Slideshow/Booklet: "Whooping Crane Comeback"

It's been a busy week at the Wisconsin wildlife refuge where the chicks attend "flight school." Who are these gangly and special young birds? What is that funny-looking flying machine? Who's inside those baggy white outfits?

Find answers in the first of six pre-migration slideshow/booklets, a series starting this week. Expect a new story each week to build background for the upcoming migration.

Teaching Suggestions

Countdown to Migration: Friday Updates

Weekly Summaries are emailed to registered participants on FRIDAYS: Sep 2, 9, 16, 23, 30; Oct 7, 14, 21, 28; Nov. 4, 11, 18—or until this year's newest "ultra-chicks" reach their winter home in Florida.

Pre-migration: Each Friday before migration, a brief e-mail notice provides updates, fun quiz questions, and the next slideshow/booklet.

During migration: When migration begins in October, new reports, maps, and fun facts are posted DAILY on the web. The Friday e-mails are quick summaries of the reports from that week. Stay with us for year 11 of this exciting conservation story!

What's the story behind this human-assisted migration? Find out here!
We'll be back with more news next Friday: September 9, 2011.
More Whooping Crane Lessons and Teaching Ideas!