NECEDAH, Wis. (AP) -- A new group of young whooping cranes is heading south, led by ultralight aircraft, as part of the effort to create a second migratory flock of the endangered birds in North America.
Fourteen cranes took off Friday morning from the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge in central Wisconsin. Six turned back and returned to their pen, while the rest made their first stop four miles away.
The flight was the first leg of a 1,250-mile migration to Florida's Gulf Coast.
It's the eighth time researchers have led cranes hatched in captivity on the migratory route. After that, they migrate on their own.
The flock now numbers an estimated 68 cranes, not counting the 14 young ones.
A new route is being used to make the migration easier.
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