handlers guide the birds back to the safety of the pen after
yesterday's exercise session.
Heather Ray, Operation Migration
calls it a triple whammy: Blustery south winds on the ground a
storm system moving in and howling winds aloft at +50mph.
You know the rest of the story. Luckily, the birds exercised yesterday.
Liz tells the story:
stood at the end of the field, and Heather hid in the tall grass
the remaining 300 yards to the pen to release the birds. All
the birds shot out of the pen as if
to say, 'What took you guys so long? We’ve
"I stood at the end of the pen field and flapped the arm of my
to encourage the chicks to fly. They were so anxious to go that
by the time they were down to my end, they were all well above
my head and in formation heading south. I watched as all 14 flew
the valley and out of sight. Half of me secretly wished
for them to keep going to Florida, but the other half started
to panic at
not seeing them anymore.
"After what seemed an eternity, I spied the chicks in the distance
coming our way. They once again flew over my head back towards the
pen. After circling
times, they set their wings and came in for a landing around the
guys. It was
40 degrees and the birds needed a break from their vigorous exercise.
Much flapping and jumping moved through the flock, and soon they
once again airborne. This flight was much shorter and they came
back very quickly.
"We let the chicks forage and found turkey feathers
for them to play with. We noticed the wind coming up and decided
to put the chicks away. They eagerly followed, chasing after the
and cranberries we tossed in front of them. After counting beaks
to make sure all 14 were safely in the pen,
we closed the gate and silently walked away to continue our day."
caption would you write for the photo of 819 and 829 during
yesterday's session? (Click
on their hotlinks and scroll to bottom of page.)