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November 9, 2003
Day 25

Young Birds Grounded, Older Birds Migrating
Test Flight. Photo OM/WCEP

The ultralights and juvenile cranes couldn't fly today, so they're on the ground in Oldham County, KY. During a test flight this sunny and cool morning, the GPS showed the plane was covering the ground at only about 8 mph, due to quartering winds out of the ENE at 12 mph.This means that flying time for the next leg--a 42-mile flight--would have taken longer than what the fuel capacity on board the aircraft would allow. Better luck tomorrow? But don't stop reading...

Older Ultra-Cranes are Migrating!
We're excited to tell you that five "white birds" from the ultralight-led migrations in 2001 and 2002 have begun their unaided journey south! Cranes 202 and 213 took advantage of north winds to start their migration Friday morning (November 7). This male/female pair has been hanging out together since returning to the Necedah Refuge last spring. Also heading south, but independently from other Whooping cranes, are males 101 and 106, and female 201. At last word, at least two of them overnighted at Jasper Pulaski State Wildlife Area in north Indiana. That's making progress! A team from the International Crane Foundation and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service will be tracking the "experienced" cranes during their southward migration, and tracking reports will be posted by ICF. What's your prediction about this year's birds and team meeting up with the older ultra-cranes?

Try This! Journaling Question
  • The older birds are covering ground faster than the juvenile cranes. Refresh your memory and write a summary paragraph telling why ultralight daily journeys are small compared to the distance wild birds can travel.
  • Which whoopers do you think will reach the Florida wintering grounds first? (Just for fun, go back to read Highlights from last year's Day 41, Day 42 and Day 43.)


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

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