October 4, 2006—For the scientists of Operation
Migration, dressing in costume isn't just for Halloween—it's
all part of the job.
Researchers don costumes and do their best "mother hen" impression while working with fledging whooping cranes. The scientists are hoping to create a self-sustaining flock of the endangered birds, so chicks are never allowed to see real humans at the project's Wisconsin training grounds.
Operation Migration's work comes to a head every year in October, as scientists use ultralight aircraft to lead the cranes on a 1,200-mile (1,900-kilometer) journey to Florida—while still in disguise.
See the majestic whooping crane in action, and watch as this year's hatchlings learn how to make it in the wild from one really dedicated research team.