Five" Almost Home!
January 13, 2011: Status Update
The St. Marks Five completed migration Dec.
15. Now wearing their permanent leg-band colors, they were
set free on Christmas Day. They fly out of the pen during the day
of the photo, the lure of their water fountain and crane chow, and the
costume (Brooke) broadcasting crane calls all help to coax them back
to the safety of the pen each evening.
up! Fall migration is almost complete for the last five crane-kids
Class of 2010. Operation Migration's trikes and the last
five birds, the "Chass Five," will be back in the air
for their arrival flyover and celebration any day now!
The older Whooping cranes have cleared out, leaving the
release pen free for crane-kids #3, #9,
#15, #16, and #17. The ultralights and pilots are just waiting for
the right weather. On the next flyable day they will lead the
chicks over the Dunnellon-Marion County Airport for the arrival
celebration and then
land at the Halpata pen.
The five youngsters will take their final short flight to
the release pen on Chassahowitzka NWR on the next flyable day, completing
their first migration south! Look for our final
fall migration reports very soon. Then get ready for the spring
migration story, starting Feb. 2!
the Classroom: Journal or
Brooke Pennypacker remains at the St.
Marks release site to watch over the
chicks as they slowly learn to become
wild and free. Each
evening Brooke broadcasts
call to bring the chicks home
and into the safety of their
pond/pen for the night. Why
do you think this is part of the routine?
reports that six 2009 Whooping cranes visiting "their" old
pen site have not been a threat to the
and his helpers have hazed the adults off
so many times that the chicks seem to have
picked up on the action and have begun
to run the adults off themselves. Brooke's main
worry is that these six older birds might
lead the youngsters off somewhere. Why
do you think this would worry the team? What could