Whooping Crane Whooping Crane
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Responses to Challenge Question #4:
Which Crane-Kids Wear the PTTs?

Last time we said only three PTTs (satellite transmitters) were available for the 2005 ultralight chicks. We asked: “Which 3 birds from all the HY2005 chicks would you pick to wear satellite transmitters (PTTs)? What are your reasons for each pick?”

But—oops—it turns out that TWO (we goofed) transmitters were available for the ultralight chicks. They went to #502 and #520. (In addition, HY2005 DAR chicks #527, #528, and #532 have PTTs.) How does the team of WCEP scientists choose the birds? Sara works on the team. She explains some reasons here:

But students Katie and Marcus made terrific recommendations. They give us all a lot to think about. We'd also like to commend Marcus for saying,

"It's too bad there is not money for more PTTs, because any of the Whoopers being led by the ultralight who seemed slower or weaker in any way might also benefit from having the extra means of locating them, in case they fall behind during the upcoming trip."

Katie (Octagon Homeschool)
I would put the special transmitters on the following three chicks:
#508: It mainly stays with the big group, so that way we could know where most of the birds go.
#509: He was a really big troublemaker at the beginning and later became one of the best fliers in cohort #2. It would be a good one to track because it might get into trouble somewhere.
#516: He kept getting hurt on the way to Florida and needed a lot of help. Now he has made a lot of improvement, but you never know if he's going to get hurt or what he's going to do next.

Marcus F. (Homeschool in Mount Airy, Maryland. Grade 6.)
"From what I've read, it seems that the three female Direct Autumn Release (DAR) birds, Jumblies (#527), Poe (#528), and Maya (#533), got the PTTs. If I were the scientist, I would have chosen to give the PTTs to the DAR birds, because they cannot be observed from an ultralight on their migration--they will, instead, be following Sandhills. I would not necessarily have given them all to the female birds, though. Perhaps, the male, Waldo (#532), was a better flyer or was stronger than the three females, so he seemed more likely to make the journey without trouble. If this is the case, then, I would have given all the PTTs to the females, too.

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