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Six baby whooping cranes spent much of week grounded in Illinois

Whooping crane
Whooping crane

ROCKFORD, IL (WTAQ) - Six Wisconsin baby whooping cranes that are flying to Florida spent much of their week in northern Illinois – where high winds have kept them from traveling.

Organizers hope they can leave the Rockford area Friday and resume their journey.

The six cranes left a state wildlife area in Green Lake County on September 28th with the help of two ultralight pilots.

The group Operation Migration hopes the birds can get to the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge in Florida by Christmas, so they can nest with other cranes in the hopes of boosting their population in the Eastern U.S.

It’s the 12th year of the migration project – and another six Wisconsin cranes were planning to take off this month with older birds which have made the trip before.