Personality and History
Migration Training: Making good progress in flight school, he was one of the chicks to eagerly follow the trike on July 18 when others would rather go off to the swamp. By July 28, he looked like he'd soon take off and fly.
By August, the chicks are so eager to fly that they often forget to wait for the trike. Charging out of the pen, they take off before the pilots have a chance to get moving. But not #614, who likes to dawdle. His usual act was pretending he didn't see the trainers in costume so he could stay in the wet pen instead of coming to lessons. On Aug. 7, #614 was still lollygagging in the wet pen after the others ran out. It looked like he wanted nothing to do with training. But, after a few minutes, he walked out on his own and quickly joined the group. Still, he kept looking to the swamp and trying to ignore the trike (ultralight plane) during training.
But when #614 learned to fly, his dawdling and ignoring the trike changed. He found out it was FUN to be able to fly. It became fun to follow the trike. Now he's a good flier and a good follower. He's ready for migration!
Oct. 23: After 7 days of being penned, #614 had a little trouble climbing to cross an 800-foot ridge soon after takeoff. After two landings with Brooke's group to rest, he dropped out again. He was finally captured on the ground by Richard and Charlie. They drove him by road to the next stopover. More.
Dec. 18: #614 has been boxed and driven only one time--until today! Four birds, including #614, dropped out on the way to the last stop before the birds reach their layover pen. He was captured, boxed, and driven to the Gilchrist County, FL. travel pen. He will fly to the layover pen with his flock tomorrow (Dec. 19)!
Jan. 12, Moving Day: #614 made it almost half way on the first moving day before he (and several others) had a rest stop. They took off again and still landed short —still 10 miles from the Chass pen. They were too tired to try again, so they spent the night in a travel pen with others that had to be crated and brought to the same site. The next morning in calm air and clear skies, all 12 "late" birds took off with Joe's plane. Their final flight with the ultralight lasted a charming 18 minutes. They landed at their final winter home at "Chass," where six cooperative flockmates had arrived the day before. Migration finally complete!
Feb. 2, 2006: Crane 614 died when violent storms moved through central Florida during the night, killing all 17 chicks in the pen at Chass. Only #615 somehow managed to escape.
Last updated: 2/4/07
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