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November 23, 2001
Day 38

Rainy Day--No Flight

Photo Operation Migration

Still in Cook County, GA, the migration got rained out for today. Writing from Stopover 19, Heather summarizes: Of the 38 days, we have flown on 19 and stood down for an equal number of days: 18 for weather and 1 for retrieving Crane #6 when he dropped out of the flight on November 10 in Kentucky. We've covered 1040.1 miles. The pilots and cranes have spent 29 hours and 38 minutes in flight so far, and we have about 177 miles to travel before reaching our final stop. By comparison, last year's sandhill crane migration took 40 days, flying 29 hours and 51 minutes to complete the route. In the 40 days, the pilots and birds had 31 days of flight and 9 down days: 7 for weather and 2 for mechnical repairs.

Why so many more weather delays this year than last year? Fall weather can be unpredictable, but the main reason is that this year's project used later eggs and departed later on migration. The crew doesn't think the weather delays will be as much of a problem next year. They took late eggs this year to allow more time for the Experimental, Non-essential Federal Rule to pass, which means these chicks didn't hatch until the middle of May. The sandhill cranes of last year hatched out in April, giving a month's head start. When this project is repeated next year, the Federal ruling will already be in place, allowing the team to use earlier-hatching eggs, get off to an earlier start for field training, and leave earlier on the journey south.


Try This! Journaling Questions

  • How many miles has the migration averaged per day?
  • What preparations do you think might be underway at Chassahowitzka for the cranes' arrival and over-wintering in their new home?

Map the Migration
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Journey North is pleased to feature this educational adventure made possible by the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership (WCEP).

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