Tracking #727 on Her First Journey North
By Anna Fasoli, ICF Tracking Crew Chief

Anna Fasoli, ICF

April 8: Tracker Eva picked up the signal of #727, who had separated from her group only a few days earlier. On this day, #727 was flying NW through the western edge of Georgia. Alone, she was headed straight for me at my location in Bledsoe County, TN, where I was monitoring #703, also migrating alone. I left 703 around 4:00 pm and joined Eva in the chase of #727 as she crossed over the Cumberland Plateau. We "tag-teamed" the bird, tracking her until she landed for roost in Trousdale County, TN. Do you see her?


Through a game of "rock-paper-scissors," we decided that Eva would head back south (no one likes to back track!) to monitor #703, and I would stay on #727.

April 9: #727 took off just after 7:00 a.m. She headed WNW under mostly cloudy skies and isolated showers. These are not the usual weather conditions that cranes migrate in — but she seemed persistent to continue north. Approximately 30 miles into her journey, she encountered a large rain storm, and tried to go around it by heading due west. It was too much, and she dropped out in Robertson County, TN, less than 10 miles from the border between Kentucky and Tennnesse. She spent the remainder of the day there.

April 10: Early in the morning she took off again and headed NW through partly cloudy skies with a strong tail wind. After crossing into Indiana around 11:00 am, she encountered a very large band of thunder storms that eventually grounded her at 12:15 pm, after 180 miles. She landed in an extremely flooded area of Indiana, along the Wabash River. I encountered numerous "road closed" signs trying to get to her due to the high water, but eventually found her in a large flooded cornfield. She is in an ideal location that is very isolated due to the flood waters, which is providing her with ideal roosting conditions.

April 11: She remained at the Indiana location. The winds were too strong from the west to allow her to continue migrating northwest. Will she wait for more favorable winds? To be continued!

Journal Question

  • What clues in Anna's story tell you about #727's determination?
  • What would you like about the job of tracking? What would you not like? Why?