Holiday "Time Out" Begins (+
December 17, 2008: Migration Day 62
weather calls the shots, and the team has called "time out" until
December 30. Today brought unfavorable winds and so much rain that
water is standing
everywhere. Woefully, the forecast for the next week shows 3 back-to-back
low pressure systems heading this way. So, for the second time
in eight seasons,
the team decided to break the migration and go home to families
for the holidays. Brian Clauss
(Patuxent Wildlife Research Center) and Bev will
stay and take good care of
the birds. Operation
Migration's Liz and Heather will also remain. They will work
on plans for the completion of the migration. The rest of
bound for Virginia, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Tennessee,
Ontario. Everyone will
be back to
migration by flying (weather permitting) on December
the second year, the fall migration will carry over into a new
calendar year. The team will face a big
job when they come back, but they'll be ready and so will we.
Six stopover locations remain between Franklin County,
AL and the staging area in Jefferson County, FL. At
the staging area (gathering area) the team will split the
into two groups of seven birds each for the first time in the project's
history. They will lead seven to their new wintering grounds on
the St. Marks
Refuge (more facts and photos soon).
After those 7 birds land at St.
Marks, the team will return to the Jefferson County staging area.
They will depart on the next flyable day with
the other 7 crane-kids.
This group stops in
Florida's Madison and Gilchrist Counties before reaching Marion County
and the Arrival
Dunnellon Airport. That just leaves the final leg of the migration
to land them at Chassahowitzka NWR in Citrus County. The suspense
continues in this history-making year of the reintroduction of Whooping
cranes to Eastern North America. Come back December 30!
In splitting the
birds into two groups for two wintering
areas, the team is doing something
done before. With 74 adults in
the flock now, they believe it
will be safer for the crane-kids
to have more space and privacy
who often return to the winter
pen site for free food or to pick
on the youngsters. Write about
a time when you did something
for the first time. How did you
feel about the results?
years 2001-2007 the team completed
the second half of the migration
in as few as 11 days and as many
as 42, but this year takes them
on a new route. Based on
the information above, what's
your prediction? Join us
again on December 30 to follow
the Class of 2008 to the finish!
Cranes to Watch: Three
White Cranes is a project in which two banded Siberian
been tracked by classrooms in the US and China to their recent
arrival on their wintering area in southeastern China. ICF's Sara
Gavin reports: "We were very excited to track the entire
fall migration – over
3,000 miles! – of
these two young cranes." Check out their project
as a useful resource for learning more about cranes, other
students and schools involved in this US/East Asia project,
and crane flyways in the United States and East Asia.
North is pleased to feature this educational adventure presented in
cooperation with the Whooping
Crane Eastern Partnership (WCEP).