The Annual Cycle of the Whooping Crane
January February March April May June
July August September October November December
September: Taking Wing
Whooping Crane from the Class of 2012 trains with Operation Migration's ulralight plane


Photo Credit
Doug Pellering
Operation Migration

By September, the chicks are flying. They practice flying with their parents, whether real adult cranes or Operation Migration pilots wearing white costumes to hide their human forms. The parents are teaching a whole new set of skills that include flying, watching for danger from the air, and finding safe places to land. Days grow shorter as autumn arrives, and the cranes are getting restless. Parents want to move south after they’re done molting, but they don’t want to rush when they have a baby, so that may keep them behind on the nesting grounds for now.

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