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November 25, 2003
Day 41

A Mountainous Challenge
OM's Charlie Schaffer and ICF's Sara Zimorski begin the long walk to the crane enclosure beyond the edge of the grass field.
Twelve cranes peel away with the eastern portion of Walden Ridge looming beyond. Today they were up and over!
Photos OM

Today's good news is that they're off the Cumberland plateau! The migration advanced to Hamilton County, TN and and Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge—but not without a struggle. The planes and cranes (some of them, anyway) lifted off from their Cumberland County site at 7:23 AM and flew for two hours and 52 minutes. They added 33.1 miles, for an accumulated distance of 685.8 miles (Statute).

As expected, it was an interesting flight. No, make that an unbelievable flight! Eight tired birds and their equally exhausted ultralight pilots made it to the Refuge by air. Four birds turned back, returning to the pen from whence they left this morning. Those four are being trucked to the Hiwassee Refuge. Four others took more scenic routes and ended up being trucked to the stopover site. That's the story in a nutshell, but click here to read all the fascinating details (including an encounter with F16 fighter planes!) in Heather's words!

This Date Last Fall

This Fall

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

Try This! Journaling Question
  • In what state was the migration on this date last year? What do your records show about the duration of the cranes' longest daily flight so far?
  • BONUS! Here's a task for the brave: After reading the full account of today's journey, think of another way to organize the information. You may choose a graphic organizer, an outline, or a narrative with clear topic sentences for each paragraph. Then send it to Journey North and we'll put it on the Web with a link from today's report.


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

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