Whoopee! Seventeen Whooping Crane chicks and their ultralight airplane "parents" left
today on the chicks' first journey south! Amazingly, all 17 made
the first leg of the journey on their own wing power—although
not without some turnbacks and second attempts. One of the crane-kids
(710) landed in the marsh in front of the crowd who came to see
them depart. Several minutes later, we heard the buzz of Brooke's
to "pick up" the bird. To our awe and joy, the bird rose
up on dazzling white wings and moved right next to Brooke's
wing for a nice, easy ride to the first stop. Beautiful!
flew four miles, just far enough to get them to unfamiliar territory.
The team has learned this is a good way to ensure they'd pay attention
to the trike, and to give the birds a successful first flight without
tiring them. We're OFF, for what we hope is a swift and safe migration