Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Whooping Crane Migration - Day 41

The cranes have moved only 3 stops since I last posted. 354 Total miles in 41 days!! They are still in Illinois, but a good day tomorrow could get them into Kentucky and then I think they will feel they are making headway.Above is a map of the progress so far.

From the Whooping Crane Journey North site -

Calm air at last! Many people came to see the young cranes fly over the tiny town of Milmine, Illinois as they departed for Cumberland County, IL. Watching, Liz said, "Over the aviation radio we could hear the pilots chatter as they struggled to get the birds on the wing." It took a bit of wrangling, but finally most of the birds formed up on Richard's wing.
Alas, three birds were troublemakers the whole way, and the team worked hard for today's gain. But they're now in Cumberland County, IL, and hoping to cover the 63 miles to Wayne County tomorrow. If they can overfly Wayne County and continue, they'll cross into Kentucky! Now we're talking!

A couple of pictures -

From Whooping Crane Journey North

Richard van Heuvelen, Operation Migration (OM) pilot. Richard led the ground crew for the 2001 migration and filled in as back-up pilot. Since 2002 he's been a team pilot. A Canadian, Richard has four daughters: Megan, Sara, Katie and Jessie.

Richard is also a master sculptor. Joe Duff says of Richard: "If anything is broken he can fix it and if it doesn't exist he can create it."

Credit for this great picture goes to Mark Chenoweth.

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