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November 7, 2004
Migration Day 29

Woo HOO! Now in Morgan County, IN
Off to the next stop!
Photo OM

The first-ever air pick-up of this year's migration took place at 7:24 a.m. During an air pick, the airborne ultralights swoop low as they pass the cranes' pen and pick them up as the gates open and let them free. Heather Ray tells what happened: As airborne Brooke gave the pen team the signal over their radio ear pieces, both gates were thrown open to free the eager cranes. After their usual jumping around and short flights, they were beginning to settle down when Brooke zoomed in and 12 birds took off after him. At the same time, pilots Joe and Richard were ready and waiting on the front lawn of the landowner's home for Heather's radio message letting them know how many Brooke had launched with. After hearing that two cranes were still on the ground, Joe and Richard zoomed off and moved in to pick up the two. As their trikes neared the field, all but one of Brooke's birds veered off toward Joe! Quick-thinking Joe picked up these birds as Richard flew in and picked up the two that hadn't yet gotten off the ground. 

Eleven cranes formed up on Joe's aircraft: 8 on the left wingtip and 3 off the right. Shortly after Richard got his two better-late-than-never birds up, one bird broke and joined Brooke. Richard brought up the rear of the flight order with a single bird. They stayed in that flight formation all the way to Morgan County, IN. Flight time was 1 hour and 18 minutes. They covered 55.5 miles. How many miles total so far?

Weather tomorrow looks promising for a 47-mile flight to Muscatatuck NWR--the final stop in Indiana (near Seymour). Last year the public was invited to watch the early morning takeoff from this site. Watch for news tomorrow!

Map the Migration
Make your own map using the latest migration data

Try This! Journaling Questions
  • Winds today were out of the WNW. Why were these considered favorable tailwinds for this part of the route?
  • Get out your migration chart and fill in the blanks as you copy this statement into the NOTES part of your chart: "Morgan County was the ___(number) stop and only the ___(number) time that the ground crew didn't have to pick up any dropouts."
  • The entire team met last night to plan the air pick-up. They planned every detail, and it worked like a charm. When have you laid very careful plans and then met with success, thanks to your planning?

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

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