Key Timeline Events
Hatch Year 2011

Make your own Timeline as you follow the exciting journey!

Feb. 10, 2012 The Class of 2011 was released in the company of other Whooping cranes that are wintering on Wheeler NWR.

Image: David Sakrison

Click image for more arrival day photos.

Feb. 8, 2012 The young cranes were fitted with identification bands and tracking transmitters.
Feb. 4, 2012 The Class of 2011 cranes were transported by road about 70 miles to Wheeler NWR in Alabama. A total of 119 days passed between their departure and this "finish line."
Jan. 29, 2012 Today's flight attempt failed when the cranes appeared to be "done migrating" after many delays in Alabama. Pilots halted migration and arrangements will be made to move the cranes to a suitable wintering location.
Jan. 13, 2012 The team at Operation Migration marked the end of a stand-down period of the 2011-2012 migration. They re-started the migration "clock" with Jan. 13 being Day 75.
Dec. 21 Last flight of the 2011 fall migration before bad weather and an FAA investigation halted the migration to grant a waiver to continue.
Oct. 21

DAR cranes are set free in the company of older wild cranes as migration time nears.

Ultralight-led female #2-11 goes missing after dropping out of the flight.

Oct. 9 Migration 2011 begins when cranes and planes depart White River Marsh.
Oct. 14 DAR chicks get their lifetime leg bands/colors.
Sep. 20 The Direct Autumn Release chicks were transported to their release site at Horicon NWR.
August 1 All the birds seem eager to follow the aircraft. Whether they’re flying, or just catching ground effect, Eight or nine of them will flap after the trike but none of these colts can quite take off with the trike yet.
July 19 All but the youngest bird can get airborne for short distances, and the oldest birds are just starting to fly.
July 15 The large overhead wing was added to the trike today. The colts have been following the wingless trike until now, so the shadow of the big wing was scary to them. Grapes for treats got them over it quickly!
June 28 The Class of 2011 arrives at "Flight School" at White River Marsh, Wisconsin. They traveled from Maryland via private jet and van.
April 28 Chicks for the 2011 ultralight flock began hatching at Maryland's Patuxent WRC. Chicks start training with the trike (without its wing) when they are just a few days old.

Try This! Journaling Question
  • How do this year's events compare with the same events for last year's chicks in the new Eastern flock? For comparison, see: 2010 Timeline Events.

A costumed pilot drives the trike around the outside of the circle pen with the little chick safely inside."Robo-crane" drops mealworms to encourage the little chick to follow the plane as it drives around the fence in a circle.

Photo H. Ray, WCEP


Journey North is pleased to feature this educational adventure made possible by the
Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership (WCEP).