Whooping Crane Whooping Crane

November 5, 2003
Day 21

Still Waiting....
Photo Heather Ray/WCEP

Just before sunrise, "everyone gathered bleary-eyed in the cabin by the lake that our hosts have graciously provided and huddled around Don and Paula [top cover pilots who scout the air conditons] to listen to the latest weather predictions from the National Weather Service. The report of high winds aloft and scattered showers sent everyone back to bed," reports Joe Duff. The migration is stalled for the fifth day in Morgan County.

Joe expressses this worry about the birds: "Keep them penned for 5 straight days and they may be reluctant to leave when the winds finally die down." That's what happened last year when it took 37 days to reach the halfway point in Tennessee because of weather delays, yet only 8 days to finish the second half of the trip. During the first half of the journey south they were lucky to fly once a week. During the second half the weather let them fly every day! Accordingly, several birds turned back or dropped out on the first half of the migration (the northern end), but all of the birds followed the trikes on each leg of the southern end.

Try This! Journaling Questions
  • Where are the "experienced" cranes now? What changes in their pre-migratory behavior have been observed? Click here to find out.
  • Joe Duff explains how the ultralight pilots decide weather or not to fly when you click here. List all the factors they consider. How do the birds deal with weather like today's? Make a list of choices YOU make that depend on the day's weather. How do you keep informed about the weather when making your plans?

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

Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership (WCEP).

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