The idea of teaching birds to migrate seems simple. Raise them, train them, and when they are well primed, take to the air and they will follow. Operation Migration has endeavored to teach whooping cranes to migrate from Wisconsin to Florida. This is their thirteenth year and it never gets easier. Sometimes the cranes act up, sometimes there's equipment failure, but the main obstacle to a quick, smooth trip is the weather.
|Photo by Jo-Anne Bellemer 10/25/23 Winnebago County, IL|
The Class of 2013 took off on October 2 and have flown a total of 175 of the 1,250-mile migration route. After being grounded for the last week due to inclement weather, they flew a whopping 55 miles today. Great job, chicks!
So, what does the hard-working, dedicated migration team do on those down days?
Check out their In the Field blog to find out how they spend their time. Here are some of my favorite entries for this year.
Richard van Heuevelen writes poetry:
Brooke Pennypacker writes Dear John letters:
Joe Duff reflects on his twenty years migrating with birds:
Geoff Tarbox reflects on bad bird behavior:
Colleen Chase listens to the coyotes howl near Berlin, WI:
If you love these crane stories, think about becoming a Mile Marker sponsor and keep the cranes flying. It's so easy!
Labels: #whooping cranes festival #operation migration #White River Marsh Wildlife Area #bird flight #birding #birders #bird watching