See the Whoopers and Ultralights!
It's a thrill to see the young chicks following the ultralights, but for the cranes' safety, only a few chances are offered:
1. Necedah National Wildlife Refuge. Training sessions can usually be seen from the observation tower on the refuge when the chicks are learning to fly with the ultralights. (July-migration departure.)
2. Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge. The team usually offers a viewing chance at their Jennings County, Indiana stop. Muscatatuck NWR is about an hour's drive from Louisville, Kentucky, and Indianapolis, Indiana. It is approximately 86 miles from Cincinnati, Ohio. The refuge is located on U.S. Highway 50, just three miles east of the I-65/U.S. 50 interchange at Seymour, Indiana. If arriving from I-65, use the Highway 50 exit that will take you east toward North Vernon. The main entrance on U.S. Highway 50 is marked with large brown signs. On arrival visitors should continue 4 miles down the main road until they see Refuge staff members who will direct everyone to parking spots. Watch Journey North reports or Operation Migration's website to know when the migration is at Jennings County/Muscatatuck NWR. You can call the refuge for directions: 812-522-4352. Remember, it all depends on the weather---so delays are possible.
National Wildlife Refuge in Miegs County, Tennessee. Public
viewing is best from the Gazebo located in the Hiwassee State Wildlife
Refuge between the towns of Dayton, Tennessee, and Cleveland, Tennessee.
To reach the refuge from I-75 take exit number 25 onto Highway 60
and go north on 60, passing through the
4. The Florida arrival fly-over at a site near Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge. In the past, the fly-over has been at the Crystal River Mall in Crystal River, FL. as they near their final landing site at Chassahowtizka NWR. This year (2005) the fly-over will be moved to the Dunnellon/Marion County Airport, 15070 SE 111th St. (off Hwy 484E) in Dunnellon, Florida. The change is a result of a possible addition of another wintering place for the whooper chicks. The carefully chosen new site is away from the older (territorial!) whoopers. The returning older whooping cranes like to claim the chicks' winter pensite at Chassahowitzka NWR as their own. That's where they spent their first winter, and there's free crane chow. With more than 40 adult "graduates," this is becoming a problem. The older birds often pick on the younger ones. The new Halpata site may be a temporary pen site for about a month, or it may become permanent crane habitat for the growing new Eastern flock. Stay tuned for decisions and details!
Journey North is pleased to feature this educational adventure presented in cooperation with the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership (WCEP).
2005 Journey North. All Rights Reserved.