Possible Arrival Tomorrow!

The Class 2013 Whooping cranes and the migration team have arrived in Leon County, Florida this morning. The next to last stop in the 1100 mile aircraft-guided migration.

Weather permitting, OM pilots Brooke Pennypacker and Richard van Heuvelen will lead them tomorrow morning, New Years Day, to their winter home on the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge in Wakulla County. Joe Duff and Beverly Paulan will be at the crane pen to call the birds down.

Before landing at their release enclosure, the cranes will fly over San Marcos de Apalache Park in the town of St. Marks. Google Map.

Everyone is invited to join us to welcome the young cranes. Probable flyover time is 8:15 am but we suggest you plan to arrive by 7:45 am for best parking. The parking area is just west of downtown St. Marks. Don’t forget your camera!

Following the flyover the migration team will assemble at the park to address the crowd and answer any questions you might have so please stick around to welcome them after the 92 day journey it took to bring the cranes to St. Marks.

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  1. vannie zychowicz January 1, 2014 12:32 pm

    May, god plessed You/s have made it to St.marks with the young whooper cranes.Congratulation OM an great job.


  2. Margie Tomlinson January 1, 2014 4:36 am

    CONGRATULATIONS & THANK YOU (again) OM on a job well done!!! All eight (8) birdies arrived in FL safe and sound because of all your hard work, and the support of so many people! Time to (8) “Celebrate Good Times…”! Break out the bubbley and cake and confetti and noise-makers, etc. one more time from the New Year’s Eve party last night!

  3. Shepherd January 1, 2014 4:27 am

    Dont let all that RAIN on the radar discourage you! Your nearly there and both cranelets and OM team will be – RELEASED – and the team can fly to their HOMES! This has been a fascinating experience. (the other f word was frustrating, and the weather sure has been!) So I guess you will fly on -um – FLYday – eh?

  4. Lori opper January 1, 2014 2:36 am

    I just read St.Marks Refuge Association posted you would be flying over The Water Treatment Plant 8:15 a.m. today?? But I Always heard just as you posted over the Park. So we will go there. Been Following your Progress since November. Excited First for us!!!!! see you soon. Happy New Year 2014!!!! From,Lori Opper

  5. AJ McCleary December 31, 2013 10:35 pm

    Fingers crossed the weather is ok, layers of clothes ready, tissues packed for tears of joy and awe, alarm set for 6am – I wouldn’t miss the flyover in St. Marks for the world and I’m SO lucky I live here in Wakulla County! You guys are my heros, too! Thank you for everything you do! * Welcome to the Class of 2013 on New Year’s Day! * Happy New Year everyone!!

  6. Susan December 31, 2013 10:01 pm

    Such a joyous time for the young birds! Yet it is a time of sadness for me, because I so look forward to reading the new Field Journal entries each day!

    Maybe Brooke, and those working with him at St Marks, could continue to write daily FJ entries until the new class of 2014 starts making the pages of the FJ? What da’ you say?

  7. Ellen December 31, 2013 9:17 pm

    Thank you to the entire OM team for taking us on your journey this year. “Wind” was certainly the four-letter word of the day, but when those fly days came, we all breathed a sigh of relief and cheered you on as a few more miles were behind you. You all will remain in my thoughts and prayers, and I look forward to Brooke’s reports and pictures from St. Marks in the coming months. Have the 2012 cranes rolled out the welcome mat yet?

  8. Sally Swanson December 31, 2013 9:07 pm

    It is such an exciting time! I’m sorry that I can be there, but, I offer my heartfelt thanks to the OM team! It has been wonderful to follow this event!

  9. Bobbie December 31, 2013 8:14 pm

    Oh my gosh, I will be up early with laptop on and my box of facial tissues at the ready. Congratulations OM for a superb job! Bless all of you!

  10. Chris dean December 31, 2013 6:56 pm

    Wish me and my wife could be there, just want you to know how many people are out here every day watching your reports and sending you so much love and admiration for what you are doing. You are our heros!