Cranes Add 17.1 Miles
Winds from the northwest helped push the birds along today. They covered 17.1 miles and landed in southern Juneau County, Wisconsin. How far have they gone in two days?
Eighteen birds flew the distance! Joe led 9 birds with his ultralight. Richard had 6 birds and Brooke had 3. Pilots Chris and Bill played "air rodeo" with two birds but they finally had to give up. They led them back to today's starting point with their ultralights. These two birds will be put in crates and trucked to the new stopover. They'll spend night two in the travel pen with flockmates and try again tomorrow. "Most amazing is the fact that #505 made it," said pilot and team leader Joe Duff. "All summer she has been our most reluctant bird and seldom ventured more than a mile from the pen. I think we are making progress." Go #505!
Today's worry was getting the birds to fly over an interstate highway. It is always humming and roaring with trucks and cars. This was new--and SCARY--to the birds. The pilots had climbed to 1000 feet before they were over the interstate. Joe said, "We were high enough to get the birds over the interstate without too much trouble." Hooray!
Bill Lishman is helping in the first weeks of the migration. He was the chase pilot for the other four pilots today. His ultralight has a bigger engine and a faster wing. He could speed ahead or double back, checking on birds and helping the other four pilots. Don and Paula are overhead in their fast little Cessna, flying top cover every day of the migration.
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