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Gary
09-22-2006, 04:41 AM
I don't know how many of you are familiar with the effort to establish a breeding flock of migratory Whooping Cranes in Wisconsin, but it's called Operation Migration. They take eggs from captive birds, hatch them in incubators, and then take the chicks to a refuge in Wisconsin. The birds are raised by humans wearing crane costumes, then in the fall, they are led to Florida by Ultralight aircraft.

They have a website that is really interesting for nature lovers. There are nearly daily updates of the training status and during the migration they post detailed reports of the trip, which takes around two months to complete.

I highly recommend taking a look.

www.operationmigration.org (http://www.operationmigration.org)

oarsman
09-22-2006, 06:08 AM
Thanks Gary,
That's an interesting website. I can't imagine what it is like to fly in an ultralight with a flock of Whooping Cranes. Wow.

From what I understand, the Whooping Crane once numbered in the thousands in North America (before European settlement) and diminished to around 20 birds in the 1930's. Operation Migration is doing wonderful work. Those birds need all the help they can get!

awatkins
09-23-2006, 03:22 AM
Absolutely incredible. Thanks so much for the link, Gary. Nice to see you again. :)

Gary
09-23-2006, 04:47 AM
I've been very fortunate to have twice seen wild Whoopers during their migration. The first time I saw them in the mid-50's, there were only 17 remaining migrating birds, and only 21 total in the world. As an already avid birdwatcher, it was the thrill of a lifetime to see four birds circling over our farm.

In the fall of 1963, I saw two adults and one juvenile resting in a pond a few miles from our farm. At that time, I think there were about 40 birds in the wild.