Operation Migration
November 29, 2013 6:26 AM   Subscribe

Operation Migration has helped endangered bird species migrate by leading the way with ultralight aircraft. At the moment you can see a live video of them in flight.
posted by exogenous (6 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
These things don't always go according to plan:
It seemed like a daring plan when President Vladimir V. Putin, outfitted in a billowy white jumpsuit and piloting a motorized hang glider, led a flock of critically endangered Siberian cranes last month on the first leg of a migration flight intended to reintroduce them to life in the wild.

Yet, with winter falling, it became clear on Wednesday that the six cranes could go no farther, and five have already been returned to captivity as passengers on an airplane. [...]
posted by pracowity at 6:35 AM on November 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

I suspect Putin and his crew probably skipped the imprinting activity on the young birds. It sounds like a ton of work! "Phase 1: Tape recordings of the aircraft engine sounds and recorded brood calls will be played several times daily to pre-hatching eggs and newly hatched chicks."
posted by exogenous at 6:49 AM on November 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

donate link - maybe instead of rushing to the stores today for that discounted flatscreen tv we can help keep this operation up in the air.
posted by cristinacristinacristina at 7:09 AM on November 29, 2013 [3 favorites]

Thank you for this post! I read about a similar project years ago in National Geographic, and this became my go-to answer when asked what my "dream job" would be. Neat!
posted by So You're Saying These Are Pants? at 7:11 AM on November 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

For those who haven't seen it, the movie Fly Away Home is (very loosely) based on the early efforts of Operation Migration.
posted by McCoy Pauley at 7:18 AM on November 30, 2013

Some of their recent blog posts:

A Visit with the Whooping Cranes - while wearing a crane costume, which I guess looks like this.

And a pilot report.
posted by exogenous at 8:22 AM on December 2, 2013

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