And we're off!!
The 14 young Whooping cranes in Class of 2008 took to
the air this morning shortly before 8AM. Five followed one trike and three another, flying over the heads of the crowd of Craniacs gathered on the Necedah refuge to witness the departure.
Only 11 of the 14 actually ended up flying to the first stop. Three of the older cranes decided to stick to the runway and their pens and eventually, because of weather issues, were crated and taken via land vehicles to the first stop. One messed around in the marsh for awhile and eventually was found by a pilot searching for him and got with the program.
I was interested in how big an operation this was and found a mention this morning that along with the 14 cranes, there are 12 personnel, 4 ultralight aircraft and five RV's making this trek to Florida.
Here is a pic of the training pen used to contain the cranes one the stopovers.
As stated at Operation Migration:
Seven states, ~1285 miles, and an unknown number of migration days lie between the 2008 Whooping crane chicks’ fledging ground at Necedah National Wildlife Refuge in Wisconsin, and their wintering grounds in Florida.
Five miles down.....1280 to go!!!!