Countdown to Migration: September 7, 2007

Today's Report Includes:

Chick Check-ups: it takes a team!
Photo WCEP

Orientation & Welcome to New Participants >>

Chick Chat: Pre-Migration Check-ups

Like many students this time of year, the chicks must see their doctor for check-ups. A world-class crane veterinarian performs the exams.

While captured, each chick also gets a temporary radio transmitter put on its leg. The small device is fixed to a colored and numbered leg band. The transmitter signals can help the migration team to locate any chick that gets separated during the upcoming journey south. With every bird so valuable, they can't risk losing a single one.

Health checks and temporary banding are important steps in the countdown to the chicks' first migration.

Why do you think the crane chick wears a hood for its exam?

Photo Operation Migration

Training Timeline: Update Timeline Events >>

You can add "chick check-ups" to your own timeline for this year's migration. Other milestones and key events for the newest members of the Eastern flock are listed here:

  • Key Timeline Events: Hatch Year 2007 >>
Meet the Flock: Crane Quiz #1 Print the Quiz >>

Who are they? What was each chick's weight at this week's check-up? How about its leg band color? You'll find it all on their life history pages. Click on photos to meet the chicks:

  • Meet the Flock, Hatch Year 2007 >>

While you're on the chicks' biography pages, look for answers to this week's Crane Quiz:

1. Which chick is from an egg laid (but abandoned) by wild parents in the new flock? (Look at "Egg Source" on each chick's page.)

2. Which chick had the most popular toe in the pen? (The other chicks were very curious about it.)

3. Which chick weighed the most at the September health check? Which one weighed the least?

4. Which of the youngest chicks is also a bully?

Meet the Flock! >>
Photo WCEP

Booklet: "Whooping Crane Comeback" Teacher Guide >>

It's been a busy week at the Wisconsin wildlife refuge where the chicks are at "flight school." Who are these gangly and special young birds? Why are a few silent people hanging around with crane puppets while wearing baggy white sacks to hide themselves?

Find answers in the first of six kids' booklets, a series starting this week. Plan on one booklet each week as a fun way to build background for the coming migration. Each booklet comes in .pdf format, ready to print, fold, and enjoy. Start here:

  • "Whooping Crane Comeback" (Printer-friendly, downloadable kids' booklet) .pdf >>

This week's booklet! >>
Web slideshow version >>
Change4Cranes: Win a Classroom Visit Details >>

The folks at Operation Migration, who conduct the chicks' fall ultralight-led migration that Journey North reports, have an exciting offer for you. Sign up for their Change4Cranes kit (free) BEFORE SEPTEMBER 30 and you could be one of three winners in an October 1 drawing for an Operation Migration team member to visit your classroom! Find details here:

Free Change4Cranes Kit
Order Form

Whooping Crane Festival: You're Invited! 

Are you lucky enough to live anywhere near Tomah, Wisconsin? If so, come to the Whooping Crane Festival on the grounds of the nearby (17 miles away) Necedah Airport on September 15. This festive outdoor event is everyone's chance to see the ultralight planes and meet the 2007 migration team!

Did you know?
The 17 Whooping Crane chicks now training in Wisconsin for their first migration outnumber the entire living population of whoopers just 65 years ago!

Countdown to Migration: Posted Fridays

Weekly Summaries are posted (by email) to registered participants on FRIDAYS: Sep 7, 14, 21, 28; Oct 5, 12, 19, 26; Nov. 2, 9, 16 . . . or until this year's newest Eastern flock chicks reach their winter home in Florida!

Pre-migration: Each Friday before migration, a brief e-mail notice gives current newsy tidbits and announces a downloadable booklet for building background knowledge.
During migration: When migration begins in October, the Friday e-mails will summarize the DAILY Highlight Updates that were posted on the Web during the week. You'll want to go to the Web for the latest maps, facts, photos, and fun!

We'll be back with more news next Friday: September 14, 2007.

More Whooping Crane Lessons and Teaching Ideas!