Matt Reports: "After 20 days of patiently waiting
at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, my patience paid off. The
last two Whooping Cranes in Florida, #906 and #912, left their
St. Marks pen at 11:45 a.m.,
22 days after their eight pen-mates had departed. The weather was
not favorable for migration. As I started tracking their flight,
I found that strong east winds blew the birds far to the west.
In fact, although only 40 miles due south of the Georgia border,
these two would
be blown over 50 miles west into Alabama. Once away from the coast,
the winds shifted. The chicks got, quite literally, a second wind
as they entered the Cotton State. A stronger south wind shot them
north across Montgomery, bypassing all the rush hour traffic that
bogged down their tracker (me!). After seven and a half hours of
migrating, they settled in for the night in Chilton County, Alabama,
235 miles from St. Marks NWR." Here they come!
or followed progress of the group of 8, with chicks #901, 904, 905, 924 and 929 and
3 older birds (827, 829 and 830) who
all left Chass together. Details of their migration stories are
bio pages. On April 10 Eva also checked on the
group of eight St. Mark's
(908, 910, 911, 914, 915, 918, 925 and
doing fine and all
at their Green Lake County, Wisconsin, stopover. Female 907 is
traveling alone and currently in Kankakee County, Illinois. "I
have a feeling she is going to be one of those wayward females.
is still tracking her," said Eva this week.
Photo Matt Strausser
and #912 stop in Chilton County, AL after migrating 235 miles
Photo Eva Szyszkoski
group of Eight