Whooping Crane
Whooping Crane
Whooping Crane


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October 26, 2005
Migration Day 13

LaSalle County, Here They Come!
+60.1 Miles

A chilly 39 degrees at daybreak, a wind from the north at 6 mph on the ground, and a test flight: all added up to GO. At 7:31 AM Joe zoomed off with 15 birds along the wings of his ultralight. One bird flew with Chris. The ground crew watched as Brooke and Richard struggled to encourage another 3 birds to fly to LaSalle County. That leaves one more bird: the decision was made to crate and transport 516. He still seems hesitant after tangling with the wires of the plane on October 18, and has a sore wing. The team feared that if #516 wouldn't or couldn't stick with the flock, he might tempt others to break off and follow him. They can't risk this scenario, so #516 went by road today.

The first group of 13 followed the lead ultralight and landed 1 hour and 39 minutes later in LaSalle County. The other six flying birds eventually arrived, but two ended up in boxes after troubles staying with the ultralights. All 20 are safely in the travel pen, and tomorrow is likely to be another travel day.

Two DAR Chicks Set Free!
Last night, two of the four DAR chicks were released near adult whooping cranes on Necedah National Wildlife Refuge in Wisconsin. Depending on how things go, the other two could be released tonight or tomorrow. Check the biographies of these four chicks to see which two are now free. (NOTE: The DAR chicks are in the bottom row of this year's "Meet the Flock" page.)

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: Why is this a good time for the DAR chicks to be released? (Think about how these "orphan" chicks must learn their migration route.) Which DAR chicks are in the photo? See each DAR chick's biography page and use their banding codes to identify chicks in the photo. Why do DAR chicks already have their permanent leg bands, unlike the ultralight-led chicks?

Crane #102 with 3 DAR chicks on October 22.

Photo A. Shanahan



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

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