The group of young whooping cranes that will follow ultralight aircraft to Florida safely arrived in Wisconsin from the U.S. Geological Survey's Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel, Maryland.
The cranes will spend the summer with Operation Migration pilots and field staff getting acclimated, gaining strength and learning to follow the aircraft before they migration.
Biologists from the International Crane Foundation help raise whooping crane chicks and release them in the fall alongside older cranes so the younger birds can learn the migration route. This fall, the young whooping cranes will go with Operation Migration on their first southward migration to the Gulf Coast of Florida, where they’ll spend the winter.
The Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership "asks anyone who encounters a whooping crane in the wild to give them the respect and distance they need." If you see a whooping crane in the wild, do not approach them on foot within 200 yards or within 100 yards in a vehicle.