The following report is forwarded with permission from Tom Stehn, USFWS biologist and US Whooping Crane Coordinator.
CONGRATULATIONS to everyone involved in and concerned about this wonderful recovery effort! Each time the next delicate milestone is reached, it really crystalizes just how effective everyone's role is in helping the whooping crane rebuild its population. From biologists to educators to the sneaker net -- every role is important!
As spring migration gets underway, please be sure and report all whooping crane migrational sightings. Tom's email address is in his signature block below.
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A family group of 3 whooping cranes was seen this morning at 10 AM climbing up to 1,000 feet and heading north. The sighting was made one mile north of the Aransas refuge's north boundary, so the cranes had already left their normal winter range. This is about 2 weeks early for Aransas whooping cranes to be starting the migration, but not unprecedented. Conditions are ideal today for migration, with mostly sunny skies, temperature in the 70's and moderate southeast winds. A beautiful day.
Hopefully someone will report this family group in the flyway. It's also possible the three cranes were doing what I call a "test flight" and may return later this morning to Aransas, but I'm thinking they were actually initiating migration.
Whooping Crane Coordinator
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
P.O. Box 100
Austwell, TX 77950
(361) 286-3559 Ext. 221
fax (361) 286-3722
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Where applicable, CWS stands for Canadian Wildlife Service; USFWS is US Fish and Wildlife Service. Crane monitoring involves cooperative efforts and support by both countries, plus many volunteers and non-profit organizations along the way.
Anyone wanting to contact Tom about the report or the whooping crane projects can reach him via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Other information, including archived copies of these reports, can be found at the Texas Whooping Crane web site at https://ccbirding.com/
Patty Waits Beasley
Corpus Christi, TX