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November 27, 2003
Day 43

A Thanksgiving Message and Day Off
This is day 2 of "no-fly days" at Hiwassee Refuge in Tennessee.

It's Thanksgiving Day and a day of rest for the Canadian/American migration team—thanks to rainy weather in Meigs County, Tennessee. The five Canadians in the group have already missed one Thanksgiving, which is celebrated in mid-October in Canada, so today they will celebrate the U.S. version with their American teammates. Heather fills us in on some additions to the team, and what they're thankful for:

"Our team has grown from eleven to fourteen with the welcome arrival of Jane (Nicolich) Chandler, captive flock manager from WCEP partner USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. Jane has come onboard to replace ICF's Sara Zimorski, who will depart shortly to ensure everything is ready at the winter release pen for the arrival of our sixteen young cranes. Also from the International Crane Foundation is education coordinator, Joan Garland who is visiting schools along the migration corridor and teaching students and educators alike about this wildlife reintroduction. The final addition to our international team is retired United Airlines pilot, Steve Connors from Minneapolis. Earlier this year, Steve expressed interest in our work and offered his assistance, which we gratefully accepted. Next spring he will begin to learn the many differences between piloting a large commercial aircraft, which holds numerous humans, versus a tiny ultralight plane, which guides endangered Whooping cranes.

"We'd like to thank these folks for giving up Thanksgiving with loved ones back home to come out and join us, and additionally we give thanks for our own families; many who already celebrated in October, for allowing us time away from them to carry out our important work. To each of you back home; you are missed, loved, and very much appreciated.

"Finally, we give thanks to our many supporters and donors. These are the ones who make it possible for us to apply our ultralight-guided migration method toward safeguarding the rarest crane of all—the Whooping crane. In years to come, may you and your families be rewarded greatly, as more and more of these elegant birds grace the skies over eastern North America."


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Some members of the Migration Team. Photo OM

Try This! Journaling Question

  • What are YOU thankful for today? What message would you send to the migration team, spending this day far from home?


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

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