Member Group Detail

Operation Migration

Town: Ontario

Ontario Nature Region: Provincial Partner

Each autumn, an ancient call penetrates the crisp dawn air as juvenile Whooping cranes led by Operation Migration's ultralight aircraft take to the skies on the biggest adventure of their young lives - their first migration. Since this project's inception in 2001, Operation Migration has successfully taught seven cohorts of endangered Whooping cranes a migration route, and is more than half way toward establishing a self-sustaining population.

Operation Migration is based on the pioneering work of co-founders Bill Lishman and Joe Duff. In 1988 Bill made aviation and ornithological history by becoming the first person to fly an ultralight aircraft alongside birds. Initially making short local flights with Canada geese around his rural home near Port Perry, Ontario, Bill and partner Joe would again make history in 1994 when they became the first people to lead birds on a long-distance migration. Their efforts inspired the 1995 hit film "Fly Away Home."

Using their innovation as a starting point, the two men formed our non-profit charitable organization with hopes of one day using their work in the preservation of threatened or endangered species. After 10 scientific studies and 13 years of work, Operation Migration was cleared to work with one of North America's most endangered species in 2001.

Our Whooping crane project continues as we seek to establish a self-sustaining migratory population in eastern North America. With successful completion of this project we hope to see the 'white ghosts of the wetlands' removed from the endangered species list.

Visit the Operation Migration website for more information.

Operation Migration
174 Mary St., Suite 3
Port Perry, Ontario
(905) 982-1096

For more information please contact Ontario Nature at 1-800-440-2366 or


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