The crane-kids flew again after two days at Stopover #8 in
Piatt County, Illinois! The eager birds burst from the pen for today's air
pickup and the pilot (see photo) raced to round them
up. But it was tough to climb them
bumpy air to reach the smoother air up higher. Richard said, "The
birds kept trying to follow, but were pitched about by invisible
air currents." After several minutes, they were still
stuggling to get on course. The young cranes skillfully tried to
catch the currents off Richard's wing. "But soon they became frustrated,"
said Richard, "and as
away from the inferior flying machine they so desperately wanted
to follow." For 20 minutes the birds did crazy maneuvers in an attempt
to follow and climb to the smoother air. "Then they followed loyally
then for about 45 miles, still being tossed about like a slinky in
sky, until they got frustrated again. First one bird landed, then
three more. It was all I could do to keep the rest from landing but
those sixteen continued to follow. Brooke stayed
behind to babysit the four on the ground. About five miles out another
bird landed and the rest were determined to land too. Circling
around and dodging trees, I tried
to keep them airborne. After about three tries and flying 3 feet
off the ground, I finally got them to follow
to the next stop. Later, Joe arrived with the single bird. Later
still, Brooke arrived with one more of the four that went down. This
left three birds to
travel the last few miles by road in crates. Not a banner day,
but with only three birds boxed a very few miles, not a bad day either."
Hats off to Richard and the birds for their valiant efforts!
day from about 6:30 to 10:00 a.m. and again from 3:30 to 4:30
in the afternoon. TrikeCam is
live durng migration flights.