October 20, 2001
The cranes and planes got off to a good start, flying beautifully as one unit until it came time to cross Interstate
Highway 90/94. They were flying at a lower altitude in hopes of avoiding headwinds, but this proved too close to
the large, noisy trucks on the freeway. Pilot Joe wrote in the logbook,
"It creates a drone that can be heard for five miles, but from 300 feet above, the roar of the passing trucks
was too much for our inexperienced birds and they immediately exploded upwards and scattered in every direction.
They regrouped quickly and were very willing to follow either aircraft as long as it did not attempt cross that
noisy river of perceived danger." Headwinds made flying at a higheraltitude out of the question. After several
attempts they turned back, where the ground crew still had the pen in place. They'll try again tomorrow. The birds
have learned to fly in good formation, but today's message seemed to be: "My way, NOT the highway." They
flew only 12 miles, and they're still at their original stopover in Adams County.
Interstate Stops Cranes
Try This! Journaling Questions
- A strict protocol (set of rules) has strictly guided
the cranes' training. The birds have been shielded from human sights or sounds. Why is shielding them from human
influences such an important part of their training?
- What are some other human influences they may encounter, and what challenges could these cause on the migration?
Map the Migration
You can make your own map using the latest migration
Journey North is pleased to feature this educational adventure made possible by the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership (WCEP).
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