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November 22, 2003
Day 38

Waiting for Better Conditions
Day Three in Cumberland County

The wind sock was limp and still this morning — a good sign — so all three aircraft went up to test the conditions aloft. It was a different story at 2500 feet altitude. Maximum ground speed achieved was 15 mph! This would have made the flight time for the 33-mile leg to Hiwassee Wildlife Area more than 2 hours. With an exhausting climb over high ridges ahead, there was no question that they would stand down for today. Distance accumulated: 652.7 miles.

For a detailed idea of what they'll be up against on the next leg of the migration, see last year's flight log entry where pilot Joe Duff described the difficult flight of Nov. 18, 2002. "The Cumberland Plateau and Brady Mountain have always tested us, but thanks to Brooke's determination, all the birds arrived safely." Read Joe's entry here:

While the migration is slowed for the 16 youngest members of the flock, sixteen of the twenty experienced Whooping cranes are now in Florida! See which ones, and find out where the others are, on our Meet the Flock 2001 and Meet the Flock 2002 pages. You can also read progress reports on the ICF Update Page.


Try This! Journaling Questions and Photo Study
  • Tom Stehn reports 172 Whooping cranes now at their Texas winter home, so 68 cranes have arrived since his last count on November 12. More whoopers will be coming, but you learned in our November 18 report that at least one of the cranes did not make it; a migrating Whooping crane was shot dead south of Dallas by a Texas hunter last week. More information has now been released. Tom Stehn said, "It's sad to lose one in that manner. Each bird is very, very important." And Wally Jobman, USFWS biologist in Nebraska and coordinator of the migration monitoring project for the Wood Buffalo-Aransas flock, said, "When you have that small number of birds, even loss of one bird is critical to the flock." Read the official press release and see how you will answer: Who? What? When? Where? Why? What do you think should be done by officials in charge?
  • Unlike the Texas hunter, would you know a Whooping crane if you saw one? See our photo study and find out how to know a crane when you see one!


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

Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership (WCEP).

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