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November 20, 2002
Standing Down, but The Race is On
Today there's patchy fog and 40 degrees at the stop in Meigs County, TN. They're
staying put for the third day in a row for good reasons. Heather reminds us: "This
next leg of the migration that will take us into Georgia has always been a tough
one. The terrain consists of carved valleys, where fog often settles and the busy
Interstate 75 adds to the challenge as the pilots will cross it once and then fly
alongside it for a few miles before arriving at our first of six planned Georgia
stopovers. For these reasons the flight team will wait for ideal conditions before
leading our precious feathered charges from the current Meigs County, TN location."
But there's still big extiting news from Heather. Yesterday, the radio signal
of yearling Crane #6 was picked up by ICF tracker Lara Fondow and Windway pilot,
Mike Voechting, in--- get this: MEIGS COUNTY, TENNESSEE! As Heather says, this is
"a mere stone's throw from where we are currently being held up by weather."
You may remember our Nov. 17 report when we said yearling #6 reached Indiana's Jasper
Pulaski Wildlife Area in Indiana, the main stopover for the Midwest population of
sandhill cranes in the fall. Thousands upon thousands of sandhills are now gathered
there. In the late afternoon, #6 flew alone for over an hour in great circles above
this throng--one white crane in the midst of crowds of gray. One birder who was lucky
enought to see this pioneering whooper during his brief stay at Jasper Pulaski called
#6 a "gorgeous white pearl in the sea of gray Sandhills." So which ultralight
Whoopers will reach the wintering grounds at Chassahowtizka NWR in Florida first--last
year's or this year's? As Heather says, the race is on!
Map the Migration
Make your own map using the latest migration data
Try This! Journaling Question
- HY 2001 Crane #6 has had some
adventures in his short life. On last year's historic first ultralight-led migration,
this crane was lost overnight in the hills of Kentucky and found only after an intensive
search. (Read the story in last year's November
10 and November 11 reports.)
After checking the flock chart and the two reports from last year, think of a name
you'd give to this individual crane that describes him. Write a short paragraph describing
his first migration with the ultralight last year and his migration on his own this
year. Where do you think he's headed? Remember to check
updates on the migration flock of HY2001 (hatch year 2001, or last year's chicks).
Journey North is pleased to feature this educational adventure made possible by
Crane Eastern Partnership (WCEP).
Copyright 2002-2003 Journey North. All Rights
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