In last Sunday's blog, I wrote that I hoped to have good news about chick #2-11 (nickname swamp girl) of Operation Migration's Class of 2011. On October 21, she went missing soon after the migration take-off. Number 2-11 is one of the oldest birds in the class and early on proved to be a good, strong flyer, but this migration stuff is new to all the chicks, and in the early days of flying south, they often spook and attempt to return to the previous night's stopover. This is what happened to #2-11. The pilots are prepared to pick up the stragglers whenever they fall back. On this particular day, they lost sight of the crane when she went down in a brushy area. To make matters worse, her transmitter failed and within a few hours, all signals were lost. Six days later she was discovered with a flock of sandhill cranes. OM has never lost a bird while flying them to Florida on their maiden voyages, and although, 2-11 is alive and well, the crew has not yet decided what to do about her. So, this saga continues.
The other nine cranes have 120 miles under their belt, or in their case, "wings" and as of yesterday are now in Illinois and doing well.
This information and these chick photos came from the OM website. http://www.operationmigration.org/
Read more about the Class of 2011 by going to their website: go to "In the Field," then "Site Map," and scroll down until you see the bios for the various classes. Next Sunday, read about chick #3-11.