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October 9, 2003
Migration Target Date + 1

Another No Go
This is the route. When will the winds be favorable to start the journey?

It's too bad that sunny and warm doesn't count. The winds again today are from the southwest at 6-7 knots. Flying into such headwinds translates to a ground speed of about 13 mph, which means slow progress and too tiring for the young cranes just starting out. They might decide, "Who needs this???" and turn back, helter skelter, to Necedah and their lovely ponds and marshes. Getting off to a good start is extremely important. Joe said the birds will have the best chance at success if all conditions are favorable, which means a tailwind to help speed them on their way. He doesn't want to give them any reason to drop out and turn back.

 

Hear Joe explain headwinds and tailwinds: Audio Clip.

Stay tuned for favorable winds at daybreak tomorrow! In the meantime, rest assurred that female #303 is making a good recovery from Tuesday's surgery to fix a fracture in her knee. (Read about it on this year's flock chart.) She is currently in a quarantine pen at ICF. Her only contact is with costumed handlers. She can rejoin her flockmates this coming Monday, or possibly even this weekend depending on her progress. She will be transported much of the way to Florida inside a travel crate in a van, which may even benefit her recovery by keeping her stationary and upright. She'll spend nights with her flockmates in the travel enclosure.


Try This! Journaling Question
  • Pilot Joe Duff tells us that the cranes are much more attentive when they are in a strange place. The team observed this when they flew all the birds over to site 4 recently, where the water levels were more favorable for their foraging and night roosting. Imagine you are on the flight team. How would you use this information in making your decision about whether to (a) travel to the first planned stopover OR (b) trying to fly farther on the first day and reach the second stopover site instead? What factors would you take into consideration?


Journey North is pleased to feature this educational adventure made possible by the

Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership (WCEP).

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