Ultralight Teaches Whooping Cranes To Migrate | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

Airborne Unlimited -- Recent Daily Episodes

Episode Date

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Airborne On ANN

Airborne 05.23.16

Airborne 05.24.16

Airborne 05.25.16

Airborne 05.26.16

Airborne 05.27.16

Airborne Hi-Def On YouTube

Airborne 05.23.16

Airborne 05.24.16

Airborne 05.25.16

Airborne 05.26.16

Airborne 05.27.16

AEA2016 LIVE Aero-TV: 04/27-0830ET, 04/28-1400ET, 04/29-1100ET

Sun 'n Fun 2016 Innovation Preview on Vimeo!

Sun 'n Fun 2016 Innovation Preview on YouTube!

Tue, Dec 22, 2009

Ultralight Teaches Whooping Cranes To Migrate

Aircraft Lead The Way From Wisconsin To Florida

Joe Duff takes his love of wildlife to new heights. As co-founder of Operation Migration, Duff, 59, is the nonprofit group's co-founder and flies one of four ultralight aircraft that leads endangered whooping cranes making their maiden flight from central Wisconsin to Florida's Gulf Coast.  It's a critical part of the ongoing effort to restore North America's whooping crane population, which had dwindled to just 15 birds in the 1940s but stands at 532 today.

Operation Migration uses aircraft-led migration to reintroduce several species of endangered birds in to the wild and teach them to migrate.  Their work became the subject for the 1996 motion picture, Fly Away Home. 

Seven states, 1285 miles, and an unknown number of migration days lie between the 2009 Whooping crane chicks fledging ground at Necedah National Wildlife Refuge in Wisconsin, and their wintering grounds in Florida.  The flock is currently resting in Alabama.

The cranes were all born in captivity at the U.S. Geological Survey's Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Maryland and sent to WI at about 2 months old. Duff and the others trainers wear baggy white costumes at all times when training the chicks for migration. The strange attire helps create a bond between the birds and the ultralight without letting them get comfortable around people.

"We isolate them from all things human until they're released," Duff told the Huntsville Times. "At that point, we hope their natural fear takes over, and that keeps them wild."

There are 76 cranes reared by Operation Migration living in the wild today, Duff said, and the 20 young birds heading south this year will increase that number.   Half the flock is destined for St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge south of Tallahassee; the rest will spend the winter at Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge near Tampa.

Duff intends to head back to Ontario to spend Christmas with his wife and 10-year-old daughter before heading back to AL to finish leading the birds to Florida.

"The migration instinct is pretty strong in me," he said.

FMI: http://www.operationmigration.org

Advertisement

More News

Airborne 05.25.16: Canada SeaPlane Regs, Blimp Downed, Citation Longitude Mated

Also: USAF Hassled, Hummel UltraCruiser, Helo Limits, FAA Video, Greg Connell Accident, Medical Helo Suit, Bombardier's 100th VistaJet Canada is proposing changes to their seaplane>[...]

Icon Steps Back, Admits Curtailed Production Plan

Finally Talking (And Still Hyping), Icon Production Plans Take A Big Hit The following is the text of a release from Icon Aircraft (bluster and all)... ANN Analysis and industry re>[...]

Solar Impulse 2 Is En Route To Lehigh Valley, PA

Atlantic Crossing Next Major Hurdle Solar Impulse 2 (Si2) departed Dayton (OH) International Airport with Bertrand Piccard at the controls, this morning at 0402 local time (UTC-4).>[...]

Icon Controversy Continues, But Icon Has Yet To Speak Up

The Company That Won't Answer Questions, May Finally Have To Do So ANN has been bombarded with info and reports concerning the health and well-being of the Icon Aircraft program...>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (05.26.16)

Safety Management System (SMS) This FAA website was created as a public resource for those seeking to learn more about SMS within the aviation industry and the FAA.>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2016 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC