Whooping Crane
Whooping Crane
Whooping Crane

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December 3, 2005
Migration Day 51

Some 2001 crane-kids after the first-ever southward migration reached Florida on this day in 2001. From their leg bands, which cranes are they? (See codes with life stories.) How are these birds doing today?
Photo WCEP

Down on the Ground
+ 0 Miles

Richard's morning test flight made the decision clear. Upon climbing to 1,1000 feet above ground in his ultralight, he simply hung in the headwind. If he'd gone highter, the tiny aircraft would have been going BACKWARDS! Yes, it's a down day in Pike County, Georgia.

The team might have been thinking of the great flight just 3 days ago. Things were going so well that they skipped over the Coweta County stop and went straight for Pike County. Ground speeds reached 75 mph at times! "We were required to stay below 3,00 feet due to the Atlanta airport control zone. As the chicks continued to challenge the trike we slowly climbed to 2,800 feet. We didn't want to climb any higher or our top cover pilot wouldn't have room to maneuver. It got harder and harder to stay in front of the now overly-enthusiastic chicks." Whoo-eeee!

A year ago today, they celebrated blowing over THREE stopover sites! This day in 2001 marked the official arrival day of the very first chicks in this whooping crane reintroduction. Do you think remembering good times helps get the team through the days on the ground?

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: What flying conditions make the young cranes eager in flight? (See Richard's notes, above, for clues.) On such days, what is the biggest challenge for the ultralight pilots? Are the planes more limited, or the birds? Explain.

• History: The total distance is about 1225 miles. Filll in the blanks: On Dec. 3, the cranes were _____miles from their summer/nesting home in Wisconsin and ____ miles from their winter home in Florida.


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

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