Migratory Restlessness But No Go
Last night, for the first time since October 8, there were calm conditions at Necedah National Wildlife Refuge. And this morning it's sunny and cool. But those calm evening conditions changed overnight, and west-southwest winds at 7 knots and gusts this morning delayed takeoff yet another day. The WCEP team is disappointed and restless.
The Whooping Cranes are probably feeling restless themselves. Every autumn, migratory birds go through a period of what ornithologists call "migratory restlessness." Changes in daylength, the sun's angle, and the weather cause them to feed and move about more. As the energy builds day after day, they take off and migrate, sometimes long distances.
Cranes that followed the ultralight in 2001 or 2002 will know exactly how to channel this restless energy as they begin their migrations. But in the same way that wild Whooping Cranes follow their parents during their first migration, this year's young WCEP birds are looking to their surrogate parents to lead the way. They're probably disappointed when they can't at least go on a practice flight, but since they haven't been "taught" to migrate yet, they are probably not the least bit disappointed about the delayed departure.
Try This! Journaling Question
2003-2004 Journey North. All Rights Reserved.