County, the Last Stop in Illinois
More miles! At 7:45am. Brooke started out with all the birds except 516 along his wings. (#516 will be crated and transported again today, and x-rayed to check his wing. The team hopes he'll be flying with them again soon.) With a strong but smooth 9 mph tailwind to help, they covered 56 miles. Here's today's flight in photos taken by the Operation Migration team:
The fewer birds with one aircraft, the more benefit each bird gets from "surfing" on the air currents off the ultralight's wing. Today's flight was long, with a slight headwind. When a number of birds fell back from Brooke's wing, Richard moved in to pick up the stragglers. Brooke kept his altitude with seven birds that stayed with him. They climbed to twelve hundred feet--high enough to clear the highways without spooking the birds. But then #520 began dropping lower and lower. Joe descended fast to help. She was panting hard and anxious to join Joe's plane. "She dropped into place and soon closed her beak and began to breathe normally," said Joe. "We landed in turn with all the birds and, now familiar with the pen, they walked straight in." After 1 hour and 41 minutes of flight, they were in Kankakee County, the LAST stop in Illinois. The team is looking forward to crossing into Indiana tomorrow!
Journey North is pleased to feature this educational adventure presented in cooperation with the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership (WCEP).
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