Cranes held up by windy weather

Published 11:07 pm Thursday, December 11, 2008

Fourteen young Whooping Cranes have been stranded in Hardin County, Tenn. for six consecutive days due to inclement weather.

The cranes, being led by ultra-light pilots, are scheduled to fly over Chilton County as they journey to Florida for the winter. Chilton County is also one of several stops on the flight, according to Operation Migration’s Web site,

Because most waterfowl learn their natural migration route from their parents, these cranes raised in captivity must be taught a safe migratory route or else they will likely not survive.

This will be the first Whooping Crane migration routed through the State of Alabama. Counties included on the route are Franklin, Walker, Chilton, Lowndes and Pike. They have accumulated 645 miles thus far.

“Assuming the forecast remains unchanged, it is likely that at the very least we will be putting up a test trike in the morning to check the winds at altitude,” reported Liz Condie of Operation Migration yesterday. “We are thinking/hoping it will be good enough for a flight, so folks who would like to witness a departure flyover should plan on an early morning.”

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