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October 4, 2001

All Together Now, Flying Free

Photo Operation Migration


Since early September, the two cohorts had been housed in separate areas of the same pen, but they finally became one group last week. The entire tiny flock now eats, sleeps and flies together. This morning Deke reports that 8 birds (#9 still a no-go with wing deformities) flew for a total of 12 minutes, including the rebel #4. (For more on #4, see September 26.)

Just like your parents, the cranes' handlers are curious about what the birds do when left on their own. Not surprising, they act like wild cranes. Late last Friday evening, Dan went down to spy on them with the night vision scope. He crept up on the birds and peeked into the covered night pen through a hole in the fencing boards. He returned to the camp to announce that all 9 birds were roosting in water. They were all standing on one leg, with their heads tucked under a wing.

During days when the cranes can't fly with the trikes due to weather, they are able to fly on their own. They often fly in large circuits around their pen area, as seen in this photo.

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

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