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December 6, 2004
Migration Day 58

Resting

Clip: Cranes in Flight, Slow Motion
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The cranes are resting today after flying four days in a row. Their next flight will give the cranes a rare public appearance. Tomorrow (weather permitting), the pilots will fly the gleaming birds over a silent waiting crowd at Crystal River Mall in thanks for the steadfast public support for this project. It will be the last chance to see this year's cranes fly with the ultralight. For the rest of their lives, the birds will fly without the guidance of the tiny yellow ultralights. Meanwhile, the pilots and ground crew are NOT resting. They are busy with final plans for delivering these 14 precious birds to their new winter home at Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge.

A Celebration Short Story
Get ready for your own celebration of the journey's end! Read a wonderful short story written by a loyal "craniac," Kathy Miner. Imagine you are a young Whooping crane, listening to a wise older crane telling you this story in the year 2200:

 

Map the Migration
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Try This! Journaling Questions
  • List clues in Kathy's story that give facts about the whoopers' first historic ultralight-led migration, which began with eight birds in the flock. (To learn more about the historic first year, see Year 1, Fall 2001.)
  • Who are the Great White-Winged Ones? Who are the silent, shapeless creatures? Why doesn't the crane in the story know what became of them?
  • There are many points of view in this unfolding story. Choose one, as author Kathy Miner did, and write your own tribute, poem, rap, or story from that point of view. TIP: Think about the "players" in this great drama, which has been called the conservation equivalent of putting a man on the moon. Think about the pilots; ground crew; citizens who live under the flight path; refuge workers who see the flock grow year by year; a biologist like Dan Sprague who helps train the newly hatched chicks and goes with them on migration; one of the oldest flock members and one of the youngest ones. We invite you to send your work to share with other readers on this Website!


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

Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership (WCEP).

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