Monday, January 16, 2012

Whooping crane migration effort remains stalled in Russellville, Alabama

Malisa McClure/TimesDaily
A group of bird watchers waits at Russellville Airport for the ultralight crafts to take off Sunday to guide the whooping cranes.

RUSSELLVILLE, Alabama - A flock of juvenile whooping cranes remain grounded here after efforts Sunday to lead their migration from Wisconsin to two Florida wildlife refuges failed, The Times Daily reported.

Ultralight aircraft pilots tried to lead the birds from the Russellville Municipal Airport Sunday, but the cranes kept breaking off from the pack, the newspaper said. The pilots gathered the birds and returned them to their crates.

The migration effort had been grounded by the Federal Aviation Administration in December, but the FAA granted the pilots a waiver last week.

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