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October 9, 2002

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Trying out a portable pen for the migration.
Photo OM/WCEP

Ready, Set...

Migration is in the air. Yesterday we said that yearling Cranes #1 and #2 were doing premigratory behaviors---flying upward on thermals, circling higher and higher, then coming down. One day they'll just keep going! Last night, yearling Cranes #5 and #6 did not return to their usual roosting spot on a remote part of the Refuge. Have they started their migration? Or are they just checking out the food supplies in cornfields farther afield?

The ground crew is getting ready too. This year, two portable pens will be used along the migration route. This is a change from last year when the ground crew had just one pen available. The portable pen is used to safely enclose the cranes at night. Two pens will save time and trouble. Hear Heather explain why:

  • Audio Clip: Using Two Portable Pens Instead of One

The pilots and crew are loading the trailers with things they'll need on the 1225-mile trip. Science teacher Darlene Lambert delivered a "Boredom Box" for the days the crew is grounded and not able to fly. When their chores are done or the weather is endlessly wet, what can they do to entertain themselves? Darlene had some ideas to share with them. Isn't that what you'd expect from a great science teacher?

Now YOU can get ready too. Then take some time to read or hear your teacher read a special poem that was written for pilots Bill Lishman and Joe Duff several years ago by a poet friend. The poem is a send-off that will make you think about this historic migration in new ways.


Try This! Journaling Questions
  • Why will it be helpful to have two portable pens this year? REMINDER: Are you adding to your list of things that are different in the Year Two migration?
  • If you were one of the pilots, what would you hope to find in the Boredom Box?


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

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