Whooping Crane Migration Update: April 1, 2011

Weather slowed the migration this week, but you can still count a few more cranes at the finish line in Wisconsin. See which cranes in the Western flock are hurrying a bit, and what makes them special. Figure on migration math, enjoy a video clip, and take the photo study challenges!

Today's Report Includes:

Image of the Week

Image: Laura Erickson
These cranes are foraging on a windy day at Aransas NWR.
Which way is the wind coming from (right or left), and how can you tell?

News: Migration Map and Field Reports

Data /Map /Finish Line

Migration is underway!
An estimated 385 endangered Whooping cranes will migrate north this spring. See migration progress of both migratory flocks on our MapServer thanks to reports from trackers and citizen scientists.

Latest News: Western Flock
See what effect the week's weather had on migration and hear about two special family groups on migration, one already in Nebraska. What's Tom's prediction for a change coming today, April 1?

Latest News: Eastern flock
Over half the flock has reached the Wisconsin nesting grounds but there's little tracking news this week. Poor migration weather is one thing keeping the eight remaining 2010 crane kids from leaving Florida.

Migration Math: How Far?

You remember that crane-kids #1-10 and #8-10 began migration March 21. On March 24 they were in Jackson County, Alabama. They had covered a total distance of 586 kilometers.

  • How many miles had they flown?
  • What would you like to ask these cranes, who are migrating unassisted for the first time?

Write your responses in your journal.


Image: Laura Erickson
How do you know this is a juvenile Whooping crane, but not #1-10 or #1-12?

 Video: Family at Migration Stopover

Imagine you are one of the cranes at a migration stopover as you watch this video clip. It shows Whooping Cranes in Kearney County, Nebraska on March 28, 2009. Watch closely and describe your favorite part after viewing:

Video by Joel Jorgensen, Nongame Bird Program Manager at Nebraska Game and Parks Commission

Research Question and Quick Links: Helpful Resources to Explore

Research Question: How many hours a day do migrating cranes fly?

See: A Day in the Life of a Migrating Whooper

Which Cranes Are Back?

Have W1-10 and W3-10, last summer's two Wisconsin wild-hatched chicks, survived their first journey north and made it home? Check: Finish Line!

More Whooping Crane Lessons and Teaching Ideas!

The Next Whooping Crane Migration Update Will Be Posted on April 8, 2011.