There are 21 cranes in the class of 2009 and group dynamics have been very interesting. The pecking order on the ground is often very different than in the air with the roles of dominance swapping around. 924 has been the biggest bully of the group this year and 925 the meekest and most timid. This has been the largest group that they have ever attempted to migrate in nine years of migrations.
The migration itself is an incredibly hard mission to make. It is 1285 miles and covers seven states of America. They will be using four ultralight aircraft each weighing 365 pounds. There will be five pilots and altogether fourteen people in the migration team from the US and Canada. It is important to note that they are at the mercy of mother nature, they need ideal conditions to fly. There needs to be moderate wind, no rain and ideally cold air. Birds fly much better in cooler air. They will use the network of as many as 26 stop overs pre -established along the migration route. This year Operation Migration will log their 10000th air mile. WE and Operation Migration invite you to give a WHOOP and help us celebrate this incredible achievement. http://www.operationmigration.org/GAWlandingpage.html
Also for the first time ever this year there will be a camera on the aircraft. This will bring views never before been seen of these beautiful birds in flight as they guide them to their new winter home and survival of the species. CraneCam will provide LIVE views from the ground and you can watch it on www.wildearth.tv.
The migration will take off very soon so keep your eyes on the Operation Migration Channel so that you can join them.