September 29, 2001
Today marked the first time in more than a century that Midwest citizens have watched wild whoopers in the sky, and the first time to see whoopers following an ultralight. A low layer of turbulent air prevented all but one of the whooping cranes from getting close to the ultralight during the demonstration flight, but this picture shows the exciting event. (Be sure to click on the photo to see it enlarged.)
Visitors were thrilled for a glimpse of this historic project, which has been carried out in near secrecy to shield the birds from human sights and sounds. The strict isolation protocol is designed to maintain the cranes' wildness so they have a better chance of surviving on their own. The limited number of people who work with these young whooping cranes carry crane vocalizers.They never speak within earshot of the cranes, and they always wear white crane costumes--even while flying the planes. Despite the secrecy, public support for the project has been tremendous. Today's celebration was for supporters and citizens to share the excitement. The target date is now October 15. Mark your calendars, but stay tuned for changes!
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Copyright 2001 Journey North. All Rights Reserved.