Week 7: Exercise But No Progress (Total Gone: 569 Miles)
The planes and cranes finally had a good flying day on Day 42, Nov. 20, but no gains. Whenever one crane dropped out, the rest followed. After a few landings and takeoffs, winds changed. Today's chance was over, and the team saw that the cranes' loyalty to each other was stronger than their loyalty to the aircraft—not surprising considering how seldom they've gotten chances to fly with it since migration began. "We only managed to get the birds a mile, but they had 47 minutes of exercise and nobody had to be put into a box, not even me," concluded pilot Joe Duff. The team moved the pen one mile to a new site, still in Carroll County, TN, but that's not progress. The next stop is a little beyond the range of birds that have not flown much in recent weeks, so the team plans to break it into two stops at 15 miles and 35 miles. Our next weekly summary is December 1. Until then, see live action on Operation Migration's crane cam and flight cam channels. Find daily updates at Operation Migration.
The cranes had a two-hour rest in a cotton field between flight attempts Nov. 20.
Journey North is presented by Annenberg Learner.