of Down Days
Joe Duff's Thoughts on October
disadvantages Joe tells about. How many do you find?
longer the birds are confined to the pen the more we have to contend
with boredom and displaced aggression.
we are grounded for a few days we let the birds out occasionally to
stretch their wings and get some exercise. They fly a few circuits and
land back next to the handlers but we are reluctant to do it too often
in case they get in the habit of returning to this location. The departure
from here should be a one- way trip, and we need to minimize any tendency
to turn back. We balance that against their need to for freedom and
a chance to fly, but there is also the fear of power line collision
or the possibility that they may see the aircraft and land somewhere
inappropriate to our isolation protocol.
The longer we are down, the less likely they are to follow us much beyond
the horizon. Birds are creatures of habit. They are very willing to
follow our aircraft if it's part of their daily routine. But "habit"
also makes them reluctant to leave if flying is only an occasional event.
The longer we are delayed, the greater chance we have of encountering
deep snow. We have had flurries the last few days and last evening even
rose in the middle of the night to clean the wings of excessive weight.
As winter gets closer we face the real concern of a foot of snow that
would make taking off and landing difficult.
Some members of our migration team are volunteers and have limited tolerance
for a migration that could extend past Christmas. Some of us have families
at home who suffer our absence, and each day on the ground brings more
Expenses continue to mount whether we fly or not. We have the cost of
propane to heat the trailers, gas to fuel the trucks, aviation fuel
for the trikes to test the morning skies, and other expenses for general
supplies for humans and birds. All add to the cost of migration—despite
our not going anywhere.
The more down days, the more our followers lose interest. With this
reduction in interest comes a slowdown in our support—and it becomes
harder to cover the cost of a migration that grows increasingly expensive.
This! Journaling Question