Whooping Crane Whooping Crane

November 28, 2003
Day 44

Standing Still in Meigs County, TN
This is day 3 of "no-fly days" at Hiwassee Refuge in Tennessee.

The team is going nowhere for at least another day, no thanks to gusty winds. But elsewhere in North America, some Whooping cranes are making their migration decisions without the aid of humans. The GOOD news is that Crane #14 from 2002 finally began her migration! She left Carroll County, Illinois, where she lived all summer and fall among Sandhill cranes. You recall that she was the only crane from last year that did not return to Wisconsin, and did not start migration when all the other whoopers did.

Whoopers are arriving in Texas, too. On Nov. 26, Tom Stehn flew for 8 hours in a small over Aransas National Wildlife Refuge to check on the newest arrivals. He reports 11 more than last week's total of 172—for a total of 183. This is one less than the total present in spring, 2003. Tom said, "It is probable that 6-8 cranes were overlooked on today's flight due to poor visibility. These cranes, along with an unknown number of cranes still in migration, should allow the population to exceed the all-time high of 188 reached in the 1999-2000 winter." Wouldn't that be fantastic news?

Some members of the Migration Team. Photo OM

Try This! Journaling Question

  • Tom Stehn said new arrivals from last week (11 cranes) included three family groups and one banded pair. If these are wild whoopers, when were they banded? When was the whooping crane color-banding program conducted? Why?

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

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