Endangered whooping cranes land in Jefferson County


In this Dec. 29, 2009 photo provided by the Alabama Power Public Relations, a flock of whooping cranes migrating from Wisconsin to Florida are shown.

Phil Free, Alabama Power Public Relations/The AP
Published: Tuesday, January 12, 2010 at 6:43 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 12, 2010 at 6:43 a.m.

Twenty endangered whooping cranes have landed in Florida.

Operation Migration's 2009 class of juvenile birds landed in Jefferson County on Monday morning.

Liz Condie, a spokeswoman for Operation Migration, said the birds will next fly to St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, where half of the flock will remain for the winter. The other 10 cranes will fly to the Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge.

Operation Migration pilots in ultralight aircraft have been leading the cranes from Necedah, Wis. In the spring, the birds will return north on their own.

This is the ninth group of cranes to make the trek.

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