Teacher Tips for Countdown to Migration
Print-and-Fold Instructions for Booklet version

Make Connections: Brainstorm a list of things you must do to prepare for a long journey. Explain that the departure of the ultralight-led migration cannot happen until preparations are made. What things does the team need to do? What else has to happen for migration to begin? The countdown to departure is underway!

Make Connections:
• (Page 1) Do you think we humans are affected by migratory restlessness? Do you feel “a change in the air” in fall? Does it affect your behavior?
Critical Thinking. Discuss:
•If weather were perfect for flying each day, the migration could be made in about 16 days. However, it will likely take at least two months. What unexpected things could happen during the journey south? (Poor flying weather that causes delays; storms that damage the pens or harm the birds; mechanical problems with the planes; difficult obstacles for the birds, such as high mountain ranges or noisy interstate highways; a lost bird that requires delay for search and rescue. All these things have happened in the previous ultralight-led migrations.) Students may wish to search through Highlights reports from past migrations, found here.


Archives and Lessons:
(Page 1)
What weather conditions are they waiting for? Explore more with pilot Joe Duff’s weather checklist.
(Page 2) How much does this migration cost? How much is a 50-lb. bag of crane chow? How much are treats each week for Robo-crane to dispense? How much to fill fuel tanks and buy a day of flying time for four ultralights? Make up math challenges like these with facts listed here.
(Page 3) What signs tell the pilot that a crane is getting tired in flight? On this page find pilot Joe Duff's answer, and see a video clip of a tired bird dropping out.
(Page 4) Play the contact call for students. Do they think the birds will be ready when departure day arrives? This is a good time to review the Meet the Flock chart for this year's chicks. What's the age range between the oldest and the youngest members of the flock? How many males? How many females? Which cranes seem most dominant? NOTE: At later stages of training, the team tries to spend very little time in contact with the cranes to ease the transition to wild, so "behavior notes" are fewer.
(Page 5)
How does the ultralight aid the birds in flight? Pilot Deke Clark explains in a 67-second audio clip, with five questions to guide listening before the clip. View a video clip of a crane flying in the sweet spot. Also, learn more about flight order in this lesson.
(Page 6) Download and print our Comparing Migrations chart. To learn more about team members, see Meet the Team. Now you're all set for migration to begin!

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