Tip: Bookmark the Whooping Crane
Six: Journey South with Endangered Whooping Cranes Led by Ultralights
Welcome! Year SIX in the historic whooping crane reintroduction/migration
project is nearing takeoff. Eighteen hatch-year 2006 chicks for
the new Eastern flock
are now in "Flight School" at Wisconsin's Necedah (say Nuh SEE duh)
National Wildlife Refuge. They are daily becoming better flyers. That's good
news, because in about five 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.
summering at the refuge (and often interfering with training!) are
all but four of the 61 gleaming white adults from the five
migrations—plus the flock's first wild-hatched chicks! The long-awaited
event took place in June. Watching carefully through binoculars,
experts say both
chicks are just days from taking their first flights.
An additional five mottled young whooper chicks are being costume-reared
for a different flight plan. After the ultralights depart with their 18 chicks,
these five will be released among the experienced adult whooping cranes summering
on the refuge. If all goes according to plan, they will follow the older
all the way to Florida, thus learning their lifelong migration route. These
whooper chicks are part of the Direct Autumn Release (DAR), which is another
step for adding young cranes to this growing new flock. This is year two
for the DAR program.
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? Meet the Cranes and See Egg-to-Sky Timeline
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 18 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 return journey north!
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
E-mail Summaries Arrive
Friday, a brief e-mail notice gives current newsy tidbits and announces
the next of six downloadable booklets for building background.
During migration: When migration begins, the Friday
e-mails will summarize that week's Highlight Updates (complete with
latest maps, facts, photos, and fun) that were posted DAILY on
Summaries are posted to registered participants on FRIDAYS:
Sep. 1, 8, 15, 22, 29; Oct. 6, 13, 20, 27; Nov. 3, 10, 17. . .or until this
year's newest Eastern whooping crane chicks reach their winter home in Florida!
Migration: Build Background with Downloadable Booklets
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
and supporting standards. Between now and the migration departure in
October, a series of weekly downloadable nonfiction booklets
(in a recommended chronological
order) 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
Web. Booklets are also available on the Web in slide show format.
How to Track Migration in the Classroom
Daily Migration Updates
fly with the whoopers! Thanks to unusually dry weather and stable air
that made stead training possible, this year's target departure date
is the earliest ever: October 1. Weather permitting, that's when 18
chicks will take to the skies with ultralight airplanes guiding them
Web postings give you the latest news, maps, and photos starting on
One of the migration.
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' real-life questions
as they follow the daily map and narratives during migration.
New! Print our ready-to-go templates so students can make
migration journals, writing 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
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,
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 five ultralight-led migrations!
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 will
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!
North is pleased to feature this educational adventure presented in
cooperation with the
Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership (WCEP).