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November 27, 2002
Day 46

19 Wild Whoopers in Florida!!

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Into Florida!

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You can tell this is a HY2002 Whooper because of the rust-colored feathers on its head. Photos OM, WCEP

Yesterday the team was hoping for a pinch of luck to make it to the final Georgia stop today. Well, a couple of pinches got them to their first Florida stopover! At 7:37 a.m. they blew out of Terrell County, Georgia under clear skies and gained100 miles! That brings them to Hamilton County, Florida--------and a grand total of 1061 miles gone. Today they passed the 1000-mile mark, and they are fewer than 200 miles from their wintering grounds. Can you imagine the jubilation today? It looks like a good Thanksgiving for the dedicated crew that's been on duty 24/7 since October 13.

Today 19 wild whoopers are in Florida, and the rest of the new Eastern flock (2 birds from HY 2001) are close! Yearling female #7 remains in the area of the Chassahowitzka release pen, amazing everyone by being first of all to arrive This morning yearlings #1 and #2, who were in south Georgia last night, also arrived. Yearling #6 in Meigs Co., TN was joined yesterday by yearling #5, the only remaining wild whooper that had not departed their summer home in central Wisconsin. In a grand affirmation that the human-assisted migration works for this magnificent endangered species, all of the yearlings are returning south on their own. WOW!

As you know, all the cranes wear radio bands on one leg. The trackers drive vehicles with antennae on top to pick up the signals from the birds. They'll keep track of the progress of yearlings #5 and #6 with the help of radio telemetry. What news will we have tomorrow? They're coming into the home stretch, and it couldn't be a more exciting race!

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This Fall

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


Try This! Journaling Questions
  • With today's 100 miles, how far has the migration come? How many miles of the 1225-miles journey are left?
  • How many MPH have the birds averaged in the last three days of flying? What factors account for the differences in how fast they can fly each day?

    Distance Flight Time MPH
    100 miles 1 hour 38 min.  
    98.5 miles 2 hours 1 min.  
    107.17 mi. 2 hours 15 min.  

  • Remember to keep up your Comparing Migrations chart with all the special things that are happening!


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

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