Migration of whooping cranes halted

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The annual migration of juvenile whooping cranes from Wisconsin to Florida has been halted in Alabama after a complaint was filed with a federal agency.

Operation Migration involves ultralight aircraft acting as “parent birds” to lead the young cranes south to spend the winter. The annual flights aim to reintroduce the scarce birds to historic habitats.

Spokesman David Sakrison tells The Gadsden Times the planes were grounded after someone filed a complaint with the Federal Aviation Administration.

FAA spokesman Lynn Lunsford says the agency got a complaint that some pilots were receiving compensation, which violates the sport pilot rule. He says the pilots grounded themselves after learning they were subject to sanctions.

The agencies involved are seeking a solution to allow the flight to continue.