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Whooping Cranes Operation Migration
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2015 4:26 am    Post subject:  Reply with quote

Nov 17, 2015
OM Whooping cranes #5-12 and #9-14 have arrived in Florida!
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2015 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

December 3, 2015      Thurzday    Shepnotes
7.08 am  Trike left the hanger
7.30     BIRDS UP
10.00  All on the ground in Tennessee

I arrange the video side by side and pop chatbox out.
Birdies flew great - looked happy, playing in the air
Flight pics are so poor its not worth taking more than one.
OM skipt a stop and landed in Landed in Carroll County, TN

Look here for pilot reports later
http://operationmigration.org/InTheField


November 24, 2015     Toozday  Shepnotes  
The cranes flew to Kentucky
Sorry - forgot to include this!


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2015 1:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote




December 7, 2015       Monday    Shepnotes
7.13     BIRDS UP
7.35  They are on their way - finally - after a circle tour, rodeo, of refusing to follow.
I suspect one colt is playing - whose the boss
The birds are NOT cooperating


Joe Duff Lead Pilot Report
When I launched with the birds, I could not see them. The only place to land is on a tractor road 300 feet from the pen. It’s over a slight ridge but as soon as the birds are 10 feet up, they could see me and hear the vocalizer. I took off and they fell into place — but not for long. One bird kept turning them back every time we headed on course.

Just to the south of the pen there is a forest that extends east and west for miles. The fog seemed to catch in the branches like a solid wall so we had to circle to gain a little altitude while Colleen and Heather paraded around the pen as animated swamp monsters.

The thicker the fog got, the less agreeable they seemed to be about crossing it, but there was also a battle playing out between numbers 1 and 2.  One bird would break and lead a few others back.  I would chase them and invariably when I took back the lead, it was number 2 up front.  40 minutes later I was still corralling birds within a mile of the pensite.

Finally after 50 minutes, number 2 veered off alone. Her departure was so sudden that the other birds did not follow and that allowed Brooke (chase pilot) to move in quickly and pick her up.  He went east and I took the others west.

With one bird you can concentrate your efforts and he soon had her on course but it wasn’t easy. She kept bouncing from wing to wing or leading the trike, or worse, dipping below the wing where she had to work hard and use up her reserved energy.

They broke once more and something interesting happened. Often when they leave the aircraft they will fly parallel to the trike a few hundred yards away. They seem to be deciding whether to leave or come back. If you turn towards them, they take that as confirmation to turn for the pen. But if you hold your course, they sometimes come back.

As we flew east, four cranes drifted off to the left leaving #1 alone on my wingtip. I could see her calling and there was a moment of indecision. I held my course while number 1 left my wingtip, took over the lead of the four and brought them back to the trike.

With all five birds on the wing I turned on course. We had been airborne an hour and 6 minutes and we were finally on our way.

Brooke was miles ahead and working hard to keep number 2 flying. We slowly climbed to 800 feet but my birds were now getting tired. They had flown for more that a hour with only short periods of soaring on the wing.  I took them up to 1000 feet. But they would fall behind and fly with their beaks open to get more air.  We landed next to Brooke who already had number 2 in the pen and water and feed ready.

The total flight took 2 hours and 26 minutes but it was hard work all the way – both for the birds and the pilots. I made sure #1 got extra grapes and I quietly thanked her for the help.
http://operationmigration.org/InT...15/12/08/day-69-lead-pilot-report


I edited, click link and read it.  Joe is a great writer and speaker!
Joe took these photos in flight with a selfie stick.  How creative!
Poor Joe!  What an insane flight!  On link is an image from Joe's GPS unit showing his track history. lol  -  Will they shove #2 in a crate?  What a naughty girl!


December 8
It doesnt appear they will be going ANYwhere for several days
weather
They put up a test trike, but no go.
Snips a couple pics
birds were ready!



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2015 8:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Found a peanut!  Found a peanut!
December 9, 2015  
   Female sub-adult Whooping crane #10-14*  at St. Marks Florida.  She is with #3-14* and the 2 males: #4-12 and #4-14 (Peanut).

This makes a total of 8 Whooping cranes which have returned to St. Marks in the past few weeks.
The original four are: 5-12, 9-14*, 7-14* and 4-13.
The new arrivals had been blown east into Georgia in November.
All cranes in the Class of 2014 have returned to Florida!

*denotes female crane
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2015 4:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tennessee
Dec 14, 2015  rain mud pencam not working well



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2015 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

December 15, 2015      Toozday    Shepnotes
Flew from TN to Double Springs in Winston County, Alabama


The winds let up and we reached Winston County, Alabama! 66 more miles. This morning’s flight lasted 1 hour and 48 minutes and all six cranes stayed with Brooke the entire flight.  Please enjoy these photos by Cindy Hayes and Chase pilot, Joe Duff.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2015 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

December  18, 2015      Friday    Shepnotes
Double Springs in Winston County, Alabama
7.06 am  trike leaves airport and heads to the pen to get the birds - and - cam goes OFF
7.09     BIRDS UP - but no go - returned to pen about 7.40
snips from video
http://operationmigration.org/InTheField/2015/12/18/day-80-no-go

OKC owls are active, seen and heard - cam probly right after new year
http://www.raptorresource.org/forum/index.php/topic,2126.0.html

Smile

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2016 6:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

January 3, 2016    Sonday   shepnotes
They  finally left Double Springs, Alabama, SKIPPED Jasper and landed at Chilton Cty (Clanton), Alabama
#2 was crated, the other 5 flew off
9 am  we got the word they will SKIP the next stop and fly on to the following stop
We dont know if they are driving #2 in the crate or what they did
10.38 am  5 cranes safe on the ground


Lead Pilot report  (edit)
Jan. 3, 2016  Joe Duff, Chilton County, Alabama

Sad   Naughty #2  

January 2 was almost a perfect flying morning.  We launched (with birds) in smooth conditions and  flew with the birds for 40 minutes back and forth.  We were not helped by the fact the birds have been in the same location since before Christmas. The lake that developed at the end of our runway during the recent rain storms also distracted them.  They got to play in it once before and they wanted more of that.

And finally there is the ongoing competition for alpha bird between #1 and #2.
When the birds broke and headed back to the pen, I couldnt tell who instigated the mutiny.
When I caught up with them to retake to lead, it was #2 at the head of the pack.
In the end, the winds got too rough, so we called it quits.

Heroin #1

January 3 we a plan.  We crated #2
The colts didn’t appear fixated on the runway lake or the pen, still they turned back several times for a 31 minute rodeo and we were still in sight of the pen field.  Finally they collected on the wing, #1 was leading them. She is my favorite bird because she is the first to follow and the last to leave my wingtip. The other birds were content to follow her and we were finally on our way.

Smile  YIPPEE SKIPPEE!

We were ten miles from our next stop and at last the birds were soaring and looked strong enough to carry on so we made the decision to skip that site.

? Where was #2 ?

#2 was still back at the starting point. Brooke was to turn back once we were underway and then lead her south alone. But by the time I got the birds organized we were too far along for him to head back,  so she made the trip in a crate.
http://operationmigration.org/InT...16/01/03/day-87-lead-pilot-report
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

January 11, 2016    Monday  
Leaving Chilton Cty (Clanton), Alabama at last!
7.30 am  trike heads to pen
7.32  birds loosed
There is so MUCH water below, the birds want to go down to it.
Pilot Brooke had trouble getting them to follow him.
As we watched them in flight, I could see what Joe Duff has written in his articles taking place before my eyes.
See my January 3 post
Heroin #1  -  sticks to trike when others wander, then they return to trike
It aint easy bein a pilot!


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