Hellooooo, KENTUCKY! (+51.4 Miles)
November 23, 2007: Migration Day 42

Last year's photo showing the view from the Top Cover plane. Unfortunately, no Top Cover plane was flying today's flight. Find out why!
Photo Taylor Richter

At last — weather right for flight! But after six days grounded, the birds took some convincing to take off and follow. It took 52 minutes of flying before they were even able to leave the pen site at Muscatatuck NWR, and at one point the pilots had to land with the birds and take off again. It was a rough and very cold flight that lasted for 1 hour and 45 minutes, and the pilots were tired, sore, and freezing cold when they finally landed in Shelby County, Kentucky. They were also worried. Why? Crane #733 dropped out during today's flight. In an unusual mix up of plans, there was no top cover plane to watch over the birds and pilots and get the location of #733's landing. Without help from top cover pilots, the ground crew had no GPS coordinates for a likely place to start their search. Brian and the tracking van hit the roads, trying to pick up #733's radio signal. They hadn't found him by dark, but will starting searhing again at first light tomorrow.

In the Classroom

  • Today's Journal Question:
    (a) Look at today's photo to see the view from a top cover plane that normally flies high above the ultralights and birds. Write a statement that tells the importance of a top cover plane to each day of the migration.
    (b-for-bonus) What are some precautions the team takes to keep the young cranes as safe as possible during flight and on the ground? As you write your answer, look back at other reports or think about the daily routine.
  • Migration Math: Work It! What total distance have the cranes and planes traveled so far? Do you think the ground crew has traveled more miles, fewer miles, or the same number of miles? Explain.


Journey North is pleased to feature this educational adventure presented in cooperation with the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership (WCEP).