Whooping Crane Whooping Crane

November 14, 2004
Migration Day 36

Crossing into KENTUCKY!
Top: After landing in Oldham Cty, KY, pilots quickly check leg bands and determine that the dropout bird is #402.
Bottom: Mark and Tatiana prepare to cross the Ohio River in the tracking van, enroute to retrieving #402.

Well, the cranes and planes made it to Oldham County, Kentucky--but not without difficulties and a L O N G day of hard work. Crane #402 dropped out about 5 miles from the destination, and pilots arrived at the stopover site with thirteen cranes. (See photo.) Mark and Tatiana couldn't get a signal on the missing crane where it was last seen, so no one knew where to track the missing bird. The team called upon Sara Zimorski and Windway pilot Mike Frakes, who were about 50 miles south in Campbellsville, KY, watching cranes #310 and 313 (last year's ultra-cranes). Flying to the rescue, Sara and Mike picked up a signal on #402 six miles south of today's destination and 11 miles from where the pilots lost sight of him. The lone bird then turned and headed northeast. He almost entered Cincinnati airspace before heading southwest and then eventually southeast. EIGHT hours and 22 minutes later, #402 finally landed to roost north of Owenton, KY. Mark and Tatiana retrieved him there--with gratitude to the Windway/ICF tracking team for all their help!

The migration gained 27.2 miles today, for a total of 491.9 miles. They are happy to be in Kentucky!


Map the Migration
Make your own map using the latest migration data

Try This! Journaling Questions
  • What choices would the team have for finding #402 before the days of radio tracking and small airplanes? What would be some consequences?
  • Imagine you are the young crane #402. Write a paragraph or story on what he might be thinking as he flies all by himself with no leader, over new territory. How does his thinking change when he hears the brood call and sees the costumes, come to retrieve him?
  • How many stops does the migration usually make in Kentucky? (Find out with help from Heather's handy chart.)

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

Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership (WCEP).

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