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November 10, 2004
Migration Day 32

Another Delay Day Brings Good News and Bad News

Surface winds at Muscatatuck NWR in Jennings County, Indiana were 10 mph but winds aloft were 25 mph. A turbulence advisory was issued, so there's no choice but to stand down. That's the bad news--but the good news is that all the young cranes and their human leaders are safe. It's not so on the migratory route of their wild cousins in the Western flock. Yes, more bad news:

Two adult Whooping cranes from the Western flock, migrating from Canada to Texas for the winter, were shot on November 6th near the Quivira NWR in central Kansas. Landowners reported the injured birds, who are both still alive and under medical care (one amputated leg and 1 one broken wing). Who did this? No one knows, but the goose, duck, and Sandhill crane hunting season is open. What kind of hunter could possibly "mistake" a huge white Whooping crane--an endangered species--for one of these other birds? Many dedicated people are working hard, some for their life careers, to bring Whooping cranes back from the brink of extinction. Every single Whooping crane is priceless in value. With these injuries, two adults will never be able to fly free in the wild again.

Even with such horrific news out of the Western flock, we have some more good news about youngster #418. Do you worry about how he will learn his flock's migration route because he wasn't able to travel with his ultralight flockmates due to feather problems? Well, the latest news detected him somewhere in Tennessee with none other than the elusive, independent female #107 from the first (2001) group of ultralight cranes! As OM's Heather Ray said, "Let's hope she's nice to him."


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Try This! Journaling Question
  • Quivira NWR has already had 59 different Whooping cranes stop there this fall. It is one of the absolute most important migration stopover areas for Whooping cranes; members of this endangered species need to receive 100% protection both on the refuge and in surrounding areas. What suggestions do you have about how this can be done?
    [October 2005 Follow-up: Crane Shooters Punished]

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

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