Whooping Crane
Whooping Crane
Whooping Crane

Today's News Fall's Journey South Report Your Sightings How to Use Journey North Search Journey North

October 15, 2005
Migration Day 2
Photo WCEP

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.

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: The pilots are doing some things that no wild whooping cranes have ever done. A wild pair of whoopers never has to keep track of more than 2 chicks. Usually they have only 1 chick to lead south. How would you feel if you were one of the pilots, with the huge job of leading 20 chicks south? If you could do something no one has ever done before, what would it be?

Record Keeping: It's time to update your migration comparison chart! Record number of planes used in this year's migration. Also, tally up the number of days the cranes fly in the column for "Number of actual flight days." So far, we're 2 for 2! (Make tally lines on the reverse of your chart--where there's more room--and keep track of flying days and no-fly days.)

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

Copyright 2005 Journey North. All Rights Reserved.
Please send all questions, comments, and suggestions to
our feedback form.

Today's News

Fall's Journey South

Report Your Sightings

How to Use Journey North

Search Journey North