GREEN LAKE, Wis. -

A group of young whooping cranes being led by small planes has started their long trek from Wisconsin to Florida.

The six cranes are the 12th group to take part in a project led by the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership.

It's an international coalition of public and private groups reintroducing the species in eastern North America.

One of the partners is Operation Migration, which is using two ultralight planes to lead the cranes.

The cranes left Sept. 28 from the White River Marsh State Wildlife Area in Green Lake County.

They were in Winnebago County in Illinois this week, where they were waiting out high winds before moving on.

The leader of the ultralight team, Joe Duff, says he hopes to arrive in St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge by Christmas.