Training Flight, August 23
Photo Joe Duff,
Five: Journey South with Endangered Whooping Cranes Led by Ultralights
Welcome! Year FIVE in the historic whooping crane reintroduction/migration
project is nearing takeoff. Twenty-one hatch-year 2005 chicks for the
new Eastern flock are now in “Flight School” at Wisconsin’s
Necedah National Wildlife Refuge. This is the largest group of chicks
since the project began, and they are daily becoming better flyers. That's
good news, because in about six weeks they must be ready for their thrilling
but risky first migration — departing in October and led by ultralight
airplane "parents" to teach the way. Also summering at the refuge
(and often interfering with training!) are most of the 42 gleaming white
adults from the four previous ultralight-led migrations.
Year Five brings some big changes. First, another pilot and plane have
been added to cope with the record number of chicks in the project. Second,
a long-awaited next step for adding cranes to this new flock begins: an
additional four mottled young whooper chicks are being costume-reared
for a different flight plan. After the ultralights depart with their 21
chicks, these four will be released among the experienced adult whooping
cranes summering on the Refuge. If all goes according to plan, they will
follow the older cranes all the way to Florida, thus learning their lifelong
Will the chicks all make the journey safely? How long will this year's
migration take? What highlights and lowlights await on the 1,200-mile
journey through seven states? You'll find out on Journey South this fall,
and this message tells how to participate. We're glad you're here!
They Now? An Egg-to-Sky Timeline for History in the Making
this year's story really began during the summer, now's the time to
meet the new chicks and catch up on their progress. We've kept track
of the 21 chicks since they hatched last spring. After learning their
personalities, you'll see why many students enjoy "adopting"
a crane to follow throughout fall's journey south and spring's journey
Our timeline of key events will help you follow the flock's milestones
so far. Use the information to start a school or classroom timeline
now; add to your timeline when the daily migration Updates start in
E-mail Summaries Arrive
E-mail Summaries are posted to registered participants on FRIDAYS:
Sep 2, 9, 16, 23, 30; Oct 7, 14, 21, 28; Nov. 4, 11, 18, 25. . .or until
this year's newest Eastern whooping crane chicks reach their winter home
Each Friday, a brief e-mail notice gives current newsy tidbits and announces
a downloadable booklet for building background.
During migration: When migration begins, the Friday e-mails
will summarize the Highlight Updates (complete with latest maps, facts,
photos, and fun) that were posted daily on the Web during the week.
Migration: Build Background with Downloadable Booklets for
Do you wonder what makes a chick think a tiny airplane is its mom? Why are
they following a 350-pound airplane and not their own parents? What are
those billowy white costumes about? Why is pecking order a big deal when
raising these chicks? Our just-for-kids nonfiction booklets offer facts
while building reading skills and supporting standards. Between now and
the migration departure in October, a series of weekly downloadable nonfiction
booklets will cover the “Big Ideas” of the young cranes' development
and training. A companion Teacher Guide helps make the most of each booklet
and coordinating lessons on the Web. Booklets are also available on the
Web in slide show format.
How to Track Migration in the Classroom
Follow Daily Migration
fly with the whoopers! In early-to-mid October, 21 chicks will take to
the skies with ultralight airplanes guiding them south. Daily Web postings
give you the latest news, maps, and photos starting on Day One of the
link tells you how to purchase a map or make your own so you can track
the migration from Wisconsin all the way to Florida using information
included in our Updates. We also suggest fun ways to handle students'
as they follow the daily map and narratives during migration.
New! Print our ready-to-go templates so students can make migration
journals, writing their own creative headlines and summarizing the young
cranes' adventures in their own words. Pages have room for responses
to the great Journaling Questions that end each of the daily Web Updates,
too. The coming season will be rich with concrete examples of key science
concepts and organizing themes that can provide focus for student journals:
habitat, weather, flight, navigation, adaptations, costume-rearing protocol,
endangered species, and more. Use these ready-made journal pages as
we've designed them, or download and edit them to fit your needs.
Keep records on this chart as the migration unfolds. You'll have an
instant comparison to the previous four ultralight-led migrations!
Lessons and Activities
How do cranes fly? Why do planes have to lead the birds? What's it like
to fly an ultralight? Who's on the team to carry out the migration? Why
are whooping cranes endangered? How many are alive today? How many chicks
survived their first migration and make it back to Wisconsin in the spring?
We'll help you discover answers (and more questions!) as the exciting
migration unfolds. To learn more about this historic study, see:
Thank you for joining us for this exciting migration. Now the fun begins!
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.
Please send all questions, comments, and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org