Southern Co. backing flight of whooping cranes

Mississippi Power parent company Southern Co. is partnering with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for the eighth consecutive year to sponsor Operation Migration's efforts to reintroduce the endangered whooping crane through its Power of Flight program.

The company's EarlyBird sponsorship supports the annual migration, now in its 15th year, which guides young cranes on a 1,200-mile journey from Wisconsin to Florida.

The captive-hatched birds are led on the migratory route by ultralight aircraft guided by Operation Migration pilots who act as "surrogate parents." The flight teaches the cranes the migration route so they can return on their own the following spring.

There are five female and one male whooping crane in this year's flock. Their migration began on Sept. 30 and will conclude at St. Mark's National Wildlife Refuge, south of Tallahassee, Fla.

Sign up to track the migration at