October 28, 2008
A minimum of 19 adults + 2 juveniles = 21 total whooping cranes have returned to Aransas so far.
Many of the cranes are believed to have arrived with a strong cold front that reached the coast October 27th.
Sixteen of those were seen today on the Aransas NWR which was the only area extensively checked from a boat.
The other 5 cranes were from reports received earlier in the week from other parts of the winter range.
With basically only one part of the winter area surveyed, I would guesstimate that total numbers having made it back to the Aransas area probably are over 40.
I believe the Lobstick pair has returned with a juvenile. The Lobstick male is the oldest known-age whooping crane in the flock and is 31 years old (hatched in 1978).
Tom Stehn, 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