Operation Migration in Central Illinois, Helping Cranes Migrate.

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It's a bird... It's a plane .. well actually its a plane that looks like a bird. Welcome to Operation Migration!
"Our mandate is to establish a flock of whooping cranes in Central Illinois they have been absent from the area since 1870s" says CEO Joe Duff.

At five feet it's the tallest American bird -- but the whooping crane is endangered.
"The only naturally occurring flock was down to 15 individuals that's all that was left in the world" Duff Says.

As the seasons change operation migration helps the birds safely migrate from Wisconsin to Florida, making several stops along the way
Duff says "We have developed a flock that follows our plane we raise them in captivity and they follow us from Wisconsin to Florida."

Their latest stop, Piatt County. The trip is a one way flight.
"We monitor them over the winter then  spring they make their way back to Wisconsin on their own and we make another generation...
If you're going to save a whooping crane you have to save its habitat -- and if you save it for whooping cranes you save it for other species as well" says Duff.

For the whooping crane's they'll  finally be  taking off once the wind conditions are just right. The group was not able to leave again Sunday due to the high winds in the county.

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