Whooping Crane
Whooping Crane
Whooping Crane

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October 14, 2005
Migration Day 1

Gone South! Migration Begins
They're off! At 7:42 a.m., 20 whooper chicks took off behind an ultralight plane and headed south. Migration is underway, with 8 miles gone.

It was a crazy day, and all four pilots worked hard. Fourteen of the crane-kids were loyal to the ultralight and stayed with until landing 32 minutes later. Another crane ALMOST made the whole distance. But four of the chicks realized they were in new territory and headed back home. They landed near their old pen! (Pilot Brooke Pennypacker later went back to start over with them.) Two others dropped out before reaching the new landing site. The ground crew jumped into action. They will track and round up the missing birds, who will finish today's trip in a van--but they'll have a fresh start tomorrow. Team leader Joe Duff said, "Now that they are in new territory, we hope their insecurity will keep them closer to the ultralights ("Mom and Dad") for the next leg. But tomorrow we have to cross an interstate, so we will see. Migration 2005 is off to a great start."

Video Clip

A Bird
Drops O


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Track the Migration

Use our map or make your own with this migration data.

(Click map to enlarge.)

Keep a Migration Journal

Today's Question: On the first day, why do you think the pilots landed after just 8 miles? Look for at least two clues in today's report.

Record Keeping: Now you can start filling in your migration comparison chart! How does this year's departure date compare with past years'? (See dates on the chart.) Make some predictions for the other categories on the chart and see what happens. As new information comes in, you can revise your predictions.

Journey North is pleased to feature this educational adventure presented in cooperation with the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership (WCEP).

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