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November 29, 2002
Day 48

Almost Home Free

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16 Colts Amost home!

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Yearling Crane #5 Arrives Chassahowitzka Today!

Photos OM, WCEP

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Today's 52.8-mile flight landed the cranes in Levy Co., Florida. They've now come1174.3 miles! Heather says, "If the weather gods allow, we will deliver these glorious juvenile Whooping cranes the final 28 miles to their new winter habitat on the Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge tomorrow."

Four yearlings are now confimed as back at Chassahowitzka and Crane #6 is more than halfway, in Meigs County, TN, where he seems to like it. Tomorrow the 16 youngsters should arrive! Top-cover pilot Paula is reporting ideal conditions for the morning flight--their last of twenty-one flights made during the 49-day journey. Tomorrow's flyover (some time between 7:00 and 9:30 a.m.) at Crystal River Mall will be the public's only chance to see the young cranes; the refuge is 65 miles north of St. Petersburg, FL and consists of marshlands, swamplands, shallow bays, and tidal streams. The only way to get there is by boat. (Why is this good news for the whoopers?)

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Try This! Journaling Questions
  • These young cranes grew up among wolves and ravens at Necedah, while Chassahowitzka is home to anhingas, manatees, oysters, blue crabs, and other critters not in Wisconsin. What dangers will the young cranes have to avoid if they are to survive the winter? (Hint: Listen again to the audio clip where Jennifer, a Ranger at Necedah, talks about Wisconsin and Florida predators.)
  • If the yearling cranes are near or in the now-enlarged enclosure, how do you predict they will act towards this year's cohort when they arrive at the same site?

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

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