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operation migration

Aircraft Guided
bird migration

Operation Migration has played a lead role in the reintroduction of endangered Whooping cranes into eastern North America . In the 1940s the species was reduced to just 15 birds.

Between 2001 – 2015, Operation Migration pilots used ultralight aircraft and played the role of surrogate parents to guide captive-hatched and imprinted Whooping cranes along a planned migration route, which began in Wisconsin and ended in Florida.

Going Forward… Operation Migration remains committed to the eastern flock. With just over 100 Whooping cranes in the flock, OM will assist with the release and monitoring of Parent-Reared crane chicks and track their fall migration. Our staff will monitor nesting birds in the spring to help determine the cause of chick mortality, by documenting the movements and behavior of pairs with chicks. We will use ground observations and, radio telemetry to gather data.

We will also assist with captures for transmitter replacement because as we all know; batteries don’t last forever. We will also stream live video via our CraneCam from the White River Marsh State Wildlife Area beginning in April. As always, we will report Whooping crane news to you in our In The Field blog.


Operation Migration relies on contributions from individuals and foundations to continue our work. You can help ensure the Whooping crane survives for future generations by calling 800-675-2618, or pledge your support right here!


Latest Posts

Heading North!
Friday March 23rd, 2018

Brooke reports the two male Whooping cranes, which wintered at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge lifted off...

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Wading Birds
Friday March 23rd, 2018

You’ve no doubt heard us describe cranes as being wading birds… Just what make them, and others...

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Wood Buffalo National Park Under Scrutiny
Thursday March 22nd, 2018

Concern for the only surviving wild population of Whooping cranes is often brought to attention with worry...

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Mailing Address
Operation Migration Inc.
6 High St. Unit A
Port Perry, ON., L9L 1H8
United States:
Operation Migration - USA
1623 Military Rd., PMB# 639
Niagara Falls, NY 14304-1745
(No parcels accepted at this location. Please send to Canadian address or call the office.)

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