On Friday, a group of endangered whooping cranes took to the skies, migrating from Necedah, Wisconsin, to their winter habitat in Florida—1,200 miles away.
The 20 cranes, which were hatched and raised in captivity, have to be taught to migrate. (Whooping cranes learned their migration route by following their parents, but the knowledge was lost when the population dwindled and no wild birds used the flyway.) So Operation Migration's pilots in ultralight planes lead the birds south.
The birds' route takes them from the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge, in Wisconsin, to the Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge in Florida. Read the Operation Migration field journal to see where the flock is today and what's been happening to them.
(The Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, which also helps to raise endangered whooping cranes, has links to lots more resources.)