Journey North invites us to come online and Meet the 2008 Whooping Crane Chicks. For this post I have selected Crane #804, born May 9, 2008, shown in the two pictures with this post. Like all 2008 chicks, #804 was born in captivity because none of last year’s nests produced live young. The egg care givers report in their notes that:
This chick has huge personality. He already had a lot to say while still in the egg! Barb said, “When it was in the hatcher, we would check on the egg by making crane vocalizations to assess its strength and progress. Each time I did this, #4 just peeped and peeped and peeped. It was like a little girl who had her phone privileges taken away for a month and finally was able to talk on the phone again to her girlfriends. Chick #4 did this before hatching and also after being old enough to go to a pen.”
Read more about this chatty crane on #804’s personal page. It includes the explanation for the second picture above: “Bees were a problem at the refuge and 804 was stung. The bee sting made his beak get out of line, but it was soon back to normal.”
Chick #804’s page is part of Operation Migration, a remarkable project to reintroduce Whooping Cranes to their natural migration. The cranes, including #804, are now almost finished with their October 2008-January 2009 migration.
The virtual birth, life, and migration of Chick #804 is gold for learning within the internet swamp. A printed textbook and/or the most creative and exciting classroom work cannot provide the learning experience that a student gets by following Chick #804. This is not a substitute for education as we have known it. It is a marvelous phoenix of learning hatching in the swamp.
Learn node topic: African American Great Migration. “From 1860-1920, the number of people living in towns of 8000 or more grew from 6 million to 54 million, with immigrants from Europe and rural migrants from the U.S. forming the bulk of newcomers.” We learn this from a Notre Dame African American history lecture on The Migration. A lecture on The Great Migration: Blacks in White America from the University of Wisconsin adds:
Blacks turned to the “Promised Land” of the North in search of jobs and greater racial toleration. However, such basic demands fueled increasing debate over the place of blacks in predominantly white America in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
The Nebraska Department of Education and Nebraska State Historical Society tell in detail of the period’s corruption and racial violence in Omaha. Along with the image show with this post of soldiers on guard in Omaha, others from the Nebraska article include a photograph of the burning of Will Brown’s body, Omaha, Nebraska, Sept. 28, 1919. The Library of Congress collection in its African-American Mosaic includes Chicago as a destination for the Great Migration. Digital History provides another overview of The Great Migration in the 1920s period and The Jazz Age.
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In this learn node illustration you are seeing structure inside a Monarch butterfly brain. It is from a research article in PLOS Biology on what may underlie sun compass navigation, shown on this page in Figure S10. CRY2 RNA Distribution in Monarch Brain. If the circadian clock mechanism of butterfly brains seems too detailed for what you want to learn or teach now, you could find less specialized material in the latest news on Monarch Butterfly migration and Journey North. Each of these butterfly sources provides links to other good materials about these beautiful insects. So does this Wikipedia Monarch butterfly article, which includes a reference to the video below of a Monarch butterfly emerging from its chrysalis. Within the brain of the emergent baby butterfly is the RNA that science is learning will inform his flight north, guided by the sun. All of these materials are open, free, richly connected nodes in the global learning commons.
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The bird in this learn node is Crane #722 who is now participating in her first Journey South. She hatched on May 21, 2007 and is a member of 2007 Autumn Release Group III of captive-born whopping cranes who this fall are on their 1st migration, led by ultralight planes . She is part of the Journey North Whooping Crane adventures in which new online participants (you) are invited to take part. The wonder of the many Journey North global studies of wildlife migration and seasonal change in which many thousands of students and nature enthusiasts have participated for more than a decade is that their subjects are real. You can, for example, visit the Journey North monarch butterfly migration map to see where the great winged beauties have been sighted this fall as they are moving toward Mexico to winter there.
Crane #722 is playing a role in efforts to reestablish whooping cranes, who had almost become extinct in the 20th century. We are learning from her more general lessons about migration of birds. For more on that, there is a student project on The Mystery of Bird Migration in these MIT engineering class materials and even more in this lecture on migration and navigation.
More learn nodes at: learnodes.com