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the Border to Florida!
Florida! At 7:44 on this clear and COLD morning, all 16 young whoopers
took off as Brooke Pennypacker's ultralight swooped low over the pen for
an air pick up. Brooke led them north into the wind, just as birds in
the wild take off to get extra lift. Once they cleared the tree line at
the north end of the field, Brooke turned them gradually west, then south--toward
A few miles out, several of the birds at the back of the long line peeled
away. When Brooke slowed so they could catch up and fall back into place,
it looked like trouble. The entire line broke up! The other pilots immediately
winged in to collect wayward birds. Brooke ended up with four, Joe with
ten, and Richard van Heuvelen with two. Thanks to the northwest winds
this morning, the fliers averaged 57 mph and covered the 98.5-mile leg
in 1 hour and 51 minutes. They're now settled in Hamilton County, Florida,
but we hope that changes with another flight tomorrow.
At least one, but more likely two, stops remain before the final flight
when the pilots guide the 8-month-old cranes out to their isolated pen
5 miles off Florida's central Gulf coast. On the final leg, the pilots
will fly the cranes over the Crystal River Mall north parking lot so lucky
onlookers can witness this magnificent "homecoming." Don't you
wish you could be there?
This! Journaling Question
at the Refuge maps below. (Click to enlarge). Each is home to the world's
endangered Whooping cranes. What do you notice about the geography of
each? What makes each a good place for Whooping Cranes?
the human populations and human activities of each location. What disadvantages
or outright dangers to cranes can you think of, if any? (See topics
our our Lessons, Activities
and Information page.)
Journey North is pleased to feature this educational
adventure made possible by the
Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership (WCEP).
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