Halfway: Cumberland County, TENNESSEE!
The entire team is in high spirits, and no wonder. Today's flight brought them to the halfway mark of the journey south! At 6:53 this morning, Brooke gave Vicki and Robert their cue to release the cranes. Flying low, Brooke approached the pen site and ten birds joined up with him. The pen here is in a beautiful valley; the aircraft must circle before beginning the long climb to leave the valley. Brooke doubled back over the pen in hopes of picking up the remaining four birds. Sure enough, they too joined the airborne flock. At roughly 6 miles out, eight of them broke from Brooke's trike. Joe Duff intercepted them before they had a chance to return to the valley they had just left. One hour and 50 minutes after take-off, Joe landed first with his eight. Next came Richard with no birds. (He got to sightsee the whole way.) Then Brooke landed with his six dedicated flyers. They covered 63.4 miles, for a total of 652.2 statute miles gone!
New Stopover Site
cranes update: Of
the two Whooping
cranes shot in Kansas near the Quivira National
Wildlife Refuge on November 6th, the one with
the amputated leg has died. The bird with the injured wing is not
feeding itself. But it is stable and will be shipped from Kansas
State University to Patuxent Wildlife Research
Center on November 18. A third white-plumaged whooping crane was also shot
at in the same incident in Kansas. Based on circumstantial evidence, this
may be the crane still being seen at Quivira. This bird is being monitored
and has been observed making several short flights to forage. Experts hope
the bird will continue its migration.
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