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September 26, 2001

Lesson for a Rebel

Crane #4 is a rebel! This bird has been consistently dropping out at the same location during each flight. It was hard

Photo Operation Migration

Audio Clip

Hear pilot Deke Clark explain how flying close to the aircraft helps birds.

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to know whether she was physically impaired or just developing a bad habit. So the handlers hatched a plan. They moved her to site 2 by herself and will leave her overnight; then they will use the aircraft to lead her back to site 1 and the rest of her flock. Joe says, "This type of abandonment conditioning has worked in the past and often encourages them to stick closer to the aircraft in the future, fearing they will be abandoned again. Also, by flying her back alone, she will have a chance to experience flying close to the aircraft and deriving benefit from the wake off the wing. She is normally last in line and has yet to feel the assistance the wing can provide. Once this test is complete we will know if more behavior management is needed or if this bird is simply not a strong enough flyer to accompany us south." Stay tuned for news on #4!


Try This! Journaling Questions
  • If you were a handler or pilot, how would you go about solving the problem of bird #4 dropping out at the same location during each flight?
  • Why is it important?

Journey North is pleased to feature this educational adventure made possible by the Whooping CraneEastern Partnership (WCEP).

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