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December 10, 2004
Migration Day 62

Waiting. . .

Plans for flying today were dashed by south winds at 15 mph and rain moving into the area. Tomorrow (Dec. 11) does not look good either. But the weather Sunday (Dec. 12) is forecast to be cooler, with north winds--hooray! If that happens, the cranes and planes may be able to fly the final 68 miles in one flight, completing their migration on Day 64. Please hang in there with us!

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It takes 40 minutes by airboat to get to the cranes' remote island enclosure on this huge wildlife refuge.
Team members repair hurricane damage. They wear rubber wading boots in the deep mud.
The "wet pen" is safer for roosting at night. The cranes could hear the splash of any predator coming near.

Meanwhile, the team keeps busy. Chassahowitzka NWR Manager Jim Kraus said hurricanes damaged more than 90 percent of the fencing around the pen. Refuge staff and volunteers joined with volunteers from other agencies and refuges to repair the damage. (Luckily, no cranes are present at the pen site.) And now. . .

  • The feeders and water bowls are clean.
  • The vehicles and ultralights have all been washed and gassed up.
  • Batteries in all the 2-way radios have been charged.
  • Everything is ready except the weather.

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


Try This! Journaling Question
  • A witness to an earlier take-off described what she heard: "These huge birds with the 7-foot wingspans are flying overhead but their voices were the tiny "cheep cheep" of a little chick. I was so surprised!" How do you explain the tiny voices from such huge birds, who are known for their loud whooping call? (Hint: see notes on the hatch year 2003 chicks, and think about the birds' ages now.)


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

Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership (WCEP).

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