Moultrie Observer

Local News

December 15, 2006

Plane-led cranes spend night in Worth County

ANDERSON CITY — Sometimes you just need a little guidance.

At least that’s what the members of Operation Migration are hoping as they try to return the whooping crane from the brink of extinction.

Speaking by phone during an unscheduled layover in Anderson City, Beverly Paulan, the team’s supervisor of field operations, said the whooping crane was extinct in the wild of the American Midwest when Operation Migration started working with them six years ago. Now, birds raised in captivity are taught to fly the migratory route of their ancestors by following four ultralight aircraft.

“In essence, we’re acting like Mama Crane,” Paulan said.

Paulan said this year’s flock featured the first whooping crane chick born in the Midwest in a hundred years. Cranes from a previous year’s flock successfully hatched a fledgeling, and the family has already successfully migrated to Florida.

The route begins at Necedah National Wildlife Refuge in central Wisconsin, where the cranes were released from captivity and where the flock spends the summer. The flock left there Oct. 5 en route to their winter habitat, Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge, near Crystal River, Fla.

“We were hoping to be there two weeks ago,” Paulan said, “but we kept running into weather delays.”

The team was stuck four days in Dawson because of fog and rough winds, she said. The four pilots led the birds aloft Friday morning but made it only 33 miles before they had to set down in a field near Anderson City. Most days the birds can fly 50 to 100 miles, depending on winds.

The team planned to take off at first light this morning, if the weather permits. Their arrival in Chassahowitzka is also dependent upon the weather — and the birds.

“[The] birds didn’t want to go [Friday],” Paulan said. “When the birds stop, we stop.”

Text Only
Local News
Business Marquee
AP Video
Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites
House Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
More
weatherradar
Seasonal Content
Poll

Should the U.S. negotiate with groups it considers terrorists?

No. Never.
Generally no, but prisoner exchanges are an exception.
Negotiation will be required to end the conflicts we have with those groups.
     View Results