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Comparing Ultralight-Led Migrations


Photo: Wayne Kryduba
 
Hatch Year of birds

2001

2002

2003
2004
2005
2006
Target date for departure

October 13

Oct. 7 and then Oct. 10

October 8
October 9
Oct 10 and then Oct. 14
 
Actual departure

October 17

October 13

October 16
October 10
Oct. 14
 
Number of birds at takeoff

8

17

16
14
20  
Number of planes

4: lead, chase, & scout ultralights and one top cover

5: four ultralights and one top cover
5: four ultralights and one top cover
 5: four ultralights and one top cover
6 5: four ultralights and one top cover
Journey's end

Dec. 3

Nov. 30

Dec. 8
Dec. 12
Dec. 13  
Number of birds reaching Florida Winter Pen

7

16

16
13 (see #406)
19 (see #526)  
Total days en route

48

49

54
64
61  
Number of no-fly days (grounded or turned back)

24

28

34 (includes 4 days when they turned back and made no progress)
43
39  
Number of actual flight days (progress made)

24

21

20
21
22
 
Longest flight

2 hours 9 minutes

2 hours 15 minutes

3 hours 4 minutes (200 miles--covering most of GA. New record!)
2 hours 58 minutes (157 miles covered)
2 hours 14 minutes (116.3 miles)
 
Shortest flight

38 minutes

44 minutes

41 minutes
  43 minutes
32 minutes
 
Total Miles South (*after OM's final adjustments)

*1164.2

*1227.8

*1191
1204.4
1183.4
 
Number of birds surviving winter/returning to Wisconsin

5

16

16 survived; 12 returned to WI
19 survived;
16 returned to Wisconsin
 
Days on Wintering Grounds
126
121
 117 days *
107 days**
106 days   

NOTES:

 

 

 

  • * In 2003, 117 days is the average of two numbers (Group A - 113 days, Group B - 121 days).
  • **In 2004, 107 days is the average of two numbers (11 cranes stayed 104 days and 1 crane stayed 110 days). Chick #418, who was not led by ultarlight but left alone to go south with older cranes, stayed 129 days.
  • Read NOTES (scroll to bottom) on previous migrations here: 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005


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

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