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September 23, 2003

Report Cards for Cranes in Training


Clip: A Training Flight on August 23, 2003
Watch It Now


With good weather, training continues daily as the countdown begins to the October 8 target date for migration.

When training is over each day, the pilots fill out a report card with comments on each bird. Like us, they get graded on the important skills they'll need to face some of their big challenges in life. The pilots call these report cards "cohort data sheets." For what subjects do cranes get graded? What does a crane report card look like? Here's the cohort data sheet for August 12, 2003:

The video clip (under photo above) shows part of the training flight for the cohort data sheet in the lesson above. As you watch the clip taken from the observation tower, notice the refuge terrain. You will hear muffled voices of observers on the tower as you watch the cranes training in the distance.

Try This! Journaling Question
  • If you were keeping data on the cranes-in-training, what information would you want to record? Scientists could record many different things, such as exactly how many items of natural food each crane is eating; what times the cranes preen, sleep, feed, and bathe; what vocalizations each crane makes, etc. Why do you think the cohort data sheet (report card) doesn't include all these things?
  • If you were to keep a training progress data sheet about your own or a friend's pet, what data would you record?

Journey North is pleased to feature this educational adventure made possible by the

Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership (WCEP).

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