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December 3, 2004
Migration Day 55

Yahoo! Longest Flight Yet
Photo OM

Looking good! The 2004 crane kids whizzed by much of Georgia today! They blew past THREE stopover sites, covering 153 miles and logging 2 hours and 58 minutes of flight time in their longest flight yet. Joe did an air pick-up with all fourteen cranes. Soon after launching, #417 dropped out and was picked up by Richard. They arrived in Terrell County, Georgia in the same formation. Total distance: 961.7 miles gone.
 
Flying conditions were ideal. A smooth northwesterly wind helped the flyers push to speeds of 60 mph at times! On the ground below, the ground crew also zipped along. (Heather got a speeding ticket!) It all depends on the weather, but what day do you think they'll finish? Compare today's location and remaining stops with previous years.

More Good News
Last week's all-time high number of cranes (the Western flock) at Aransas NWR was 213. Even MORE cranes arrived this week! Now Tom Stehn estimates a record 216, and the migration is still not quite complete! The 33 chicks counted by air are the most to ever arrive at Aransas. Tom says one whooping crane chick has separated from its parents and was last reported in northeastern Colorado on November 4th. One white-plumaged crane is still present at Quivira NWR in Kansas. This bird is believed to be the third crane shot by a hunting party on November 6th. This bird is being monitored, looks okay, and hopefully will continue the migration. The one surviving crane of the two shot in Kansas was shipped from Kansas State University to the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center on November 18th. It is in “guarded” condition.

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


Try This! Journaling Questions
  • With today's awesome progress, it's time to get ready to celebrate the cranes' arrival by folding your own origami cranes to suspend from the ceiling with string. Find folding directions here.
  • What dangers will the crane-kids need to avoid to stay safe this winter? These young cranes grew up among wolves and ravens at Necedah NWR, while their winter home at Chassahowitzka NWR is home to a whole host of other creatures. Write your predictions, then see if you want to edit after you review what happened to the 2001 cranes during winter. Then listen to Ranger Jennifer Rabuck talk about Wisconsin and Florida predators. How many things can you list that crane experts do to keep the birds safe?


Journey North is pleased to feature this educational adventure made possible by the

Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership (WCEP).

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