Whooping crane migration delayed due to high winds
by Pam Rotella
30 September 2013, last updated 1 October 2013
High winds forced Operation Migration to delay the start of its 2013 guided whooping crane migration, originally slated for this morning.
Early-morning birdwatchers gathered near White River Marsh to watch the cranes depart for their first migration south, but Operation Migration's staff received a pilot's radio call that winds aloft were too strong. The wind speed became apparent when Lead Pilot Joe Duff flew over the birdwatchers before departing, his ultra-light making almost no progress flying south.
Weather delays are a day-to-day decision by the group's pilots, and not uncommon. When delays are known before birdwatchers would normally arrive at flyover locations, the group will often post them on its
"In the field" blog and crane cam page or announce them to its e-mail list, in an effort to save "craniacs" (its crane-watching fans) their early-morning drive to remote flyover locations. On other occasions, including today, weather cancellations aren't known until pilots are in the air.
The start of Operation Migration's 2013 migration is now expected to start tomorrow, weather permitting.
Update 1 October 2013: Departure is delayed again today, with better weather expected tomorrow.
All original content including photographs © 2013 by Pam Rotella.