Whooping Crane Whooping Crane

Migration Crew 2004
Meet some of the people who are paving the road to recovery for Whooping cranes!

Joe Duff, Canadian Co-founder of Operation Migration

Team leader, pilot and crane handler. Father of daughter Alex, 5.

Hear Joe

Bill Lishman, Canadian Co-founder of Operation Migration (OM) and first person ever to fly with birds in formation.


Heather Ray, Administrative Director of Operation Migration, Website writer and WCEP Outreach/Education Coordinator traveling with the migration. Lives in Canada and is Mom of 3 teenagers: Lindsay, Chad and Chase.

Hear Heather

Richard van Heuvelen, Operation Migration (OM) pilot/crane handler.

Richard led the ground crew for the 2001 migration and filled in as back-up pilot. In 2002 he became one of the 3 lead pilots. A Canadian, he has four daughters: Megan, Sara, Katie and Jessie.

Mark Nipper, lead aviculturalist and OM Supervisor of Field Operations. Will monitor the cranes during their first winter at Chassahowtizka NWR in Florida.

1. Hear Mark
2. Mark Tells About His Earlier Job as OM Intern

Brian Clauss, crane handler/trainer from Patuxent WRC and
Ground Crew with fall migration

Brooke Pennypacker, Operation Migration pilot in 2002, 2003 and 2004. Brooke is a Canadian with a GREAT sense of humor and a son named Devin.

Dan Sprague, crane handler/Biotechnician at USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. Each year, Dan is with the chicks from hatching throughout their training and migration south. Dan and his wife live in Maryland with several pets.

Hear Dan


Vicky Trabold, new OM Intern.
Vicky is a biologist. She wants to help the project and came from California to travel with the team.

Don and Paula Lounsbury, Top-cover pilots for OM. They volunteer their time and airplanes to fly for the project. This is year 4 for them!

Sara Zimorski, aviculturalist/crane handler with International Crane Foundation (ICF). In past years, Sara was with the chicks during training, migration, and winter in Florida. She worked with the chicks at Necedah in summer 04 part of winter, and will help track the ultracranes on their fall and spring migrations.

Lara Fondow, Tracking Intern with International Crane Foundation (ICF). Lara travels with the southbound and northbound migrations, tracking the experienced and the newet cranes with radio telemetry.


Charlie Shafer, former OM Intern now hired full time by Patuxent WRC. He has a degree in biology and was a crane handler in summer at Necedah. Charlie will return to Patuxent in fall.

Brian Johns, Biologist at Wood Buffalo National Park. Canadian Leader of the International Crane Recovery Team.

Tom Stehn, Biologist at Aransas NWR. U.S. Leader of the International Crane Recovery Team, a WCEP Partner

Dr. Richard Urbanek, ICF/FWS Project Biologist. Assigns the banding codes and tracks the experienced "ultralcranes " year round.

Pioneer 2001 crew of the first historic ultralight-led migration: Deke Clark and Joe Duff were lead pilots and Dan Sprague was lead trainer. Deke is now recovering from a stroke suffered in January 2002.

Dr. Barry Hartup, Veterinarian with International Crane Foundation and Health Team Leader for WCEP. He and his team keep the birds healthy.

Heather Ray, Vicky Trabold, Robert Doyle, Brooke Pennypacker, Gerald Murphy, Sandy Ulrikson, Mark Nipper, Gerry Ulrikson, Tatiana Zhuchkova, Joe Duff and Dan Sprague.
October 2004.

Dr. Bernard Wessling, Scientist and Crane Voice Recording Specialist from Germany

Hear Dr. Wessling
Visit his Website

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

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