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December 4, 2003
Day 50

Rain, Rain, Go Away
craneHY03_250

Cranes by pen in Terrell Cty, GA
Photo OM

RAIN and east winds at 6-8 mph mean the team is standing down for another day. They're still in Terrell County, Georgia at 954.1 miles of the 1225-mile journey. Are you feeling frustrated? Imagine how the team feels, away from homes and families who might be wondering if they'll be home for the upcoming holidays. This has now turned into the longest migration in ten years (3 years for Whooping cranes) of using aircraft to guide birds to a new winter habitat. "With the finish line almost in sight, it's become the most frustrating as well," comments Heather. Today Heather and Joe took a flight with with the migration's top cover pilots Don and Paula in their Cessna. They checked out a new landing site in Gilchrist County, Florida. It also helped assure them all that indeed, despite the southeast winds of the last three days, the sunshine state is still there. Even in the Cessna they were slowed by headwinds. The flight down took 1 hour and 45 minutes, but only 1 hour on the return trip with the tailwind's help.

 

Map the Migration
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Try This! Journaling Questions
  • In a journal entry for April 11, 1805, explorers Lewis and Clark mention large cranes, perfectly white except for the feathers on the first joint of the wing, which were black. They called it the largest bird on the Missouri. Write a letter to Lewis and Clark, telling them what YOU know about Whooping cranes that THEY didn't know.
  • The cranes flew 3 hours and 4 minutes and covered 200 miles in a record-smashing flight to get to this stopover site. How many miles per hour is that? What factors account for differences in how fast and how far the cranes travel on any given day?

 


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

Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership (WCEP).

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