Week Four: Cranes Reach Illinois! (Total Gone: 123 Miles)
October 26, 2015
Weekly Update

The birds flew two flights last week. On Oct. 22 (migration day 23) they made it to Green County, their final stop in Wisconsin. On Oct. 25 they flew over the border into Winnebago County, Illinois, with five birds landing at 8:11 AM. Lead bird Crane #2-15 did her usual fooling around, crazily switching positions and disrupting flight order in the other birds, who instinctively follow the bird ahead of them. She even tried the end of the line, but found it was hard work and she was soon lagging behind. Brooke's plane swooped in to lead her, but she needed a rest and Brooked picked a field to land. After they took off again, she stayed so low she brushed a power line and lightly scraped her beak. Brooke landed again and #2-15 made the rest of the trip in a crate. As they start week five, winds turned unfavorable for flight. The birds will rest and the team will spend today searching LaSalle County for a replacement stopover site #6. What makes a good stopover site? See pilot Joe Duff's thoughts here. Join us next Monday for our weekly progress summary. In the meantime, see daily updates and video cams at Operation Migration.

Class of 2015 on migration flight
Karla Ritter

map and journal
map | stopovers

Journey North is presented by Annenberg Learner.
Partial funding for this news update has been made possible through Operation Migration by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the Southern Company through the Power of Flight Program.