Greetings all,

The following reports are forwarded with permission from Tom Stehn, USFWS biologist and National Whooping Crane Coordinator.

CWS stands for Canadian Wildlife Service; USFSW is US Fish and Wildlife Service. Crane monitoring involves cooperative efforts and support by both countries.

Anyone wanting to contact Tom about the report or the whooping crane projects can reach him via email at: tom_stehn@fws.gov. Other information, including archived copies of these reports, can be found at the Texas Whooping Crane home pages at http://www.electrotex.com/aoc/. (Please link to the Texas Whooping Crane pages through the AOC main home page, as the URLs for the special site pages may change over time as updates and reviews occur.)

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Date: Fri, 13 Nov 98
Subject: Whooping Crane Migration Update

     As of 11/13, whooping cranes that have made it to Aransas are 30
     adults + 2 chicks = 32 total.  This is way under the number of
     birds normally present in mid-November.  Wally Jobman's report that
     follows shows the birds are moving, but are still several days
     flight north of Texas.

        - Tom Stehn
 

Subject: Whooping Crane Migration Update
Author:  Wally Jobman at 6DE-ESGRI
Date:    11/13/98 11:38 AM
 

          Last week a good share of the sightings were coming from
          North Dakota.  This week the bulk have been from Nebraska
          and Kansas.  A major storm passed through the Dakotas,
          Nebraska, and Kansas on Nov. 9 and 10.  West and northwest
          winds to 60mph and blizzard conditions in northern Nebraska
          through the Dakotas.  Bismarck, ND has 12-15 inches of snow.
          There was a major migration of geese, ducks, and cranes on
          the 11th and 12th.  A family was reported in Saline County,
          Kansas on the 11th (quite far east in Kansas).  A family was
          also reported in York County, Nebraska on the 12th (the
          furthest east sighting in Nebraska on record).  I suspect
          the strong west and northwest wind pushed the birds east of
          their normal flyway.  Today, Quivira NWR has 10 birds (8
          adults and 2 juveniles) and there are 2 birds in Kingman
          County, KS.  Have a good weekend.

          Wally

     An aerial census of the Aransas NWR and surrounding areas made
     11/13/98 revealed the presence of 30 adults and 2 young = 32
     whooping cranes.  The flight was made in charter aircraft with Tom
     Stehn as observer.

     Recap of cranes observed: (32)

       Refuge   Lamar   San Jose   Matagorda  Welder  Other      Total
         14       0        2         10+2       4              30+2=32

     Remarks:

     An estimated 16 cranes have arrived since the last flight on
     November 5th, including the first two family groups.

     One pair (# 44-98, banded birds hs-W amd YbY-Y) have arrived
     without their chick that they had in August.  This is the second
     documented instance of loss of a chick subsequent to the count of
     24 in mid-August.

     The migration is more than a week behind the average schedule.
     Sightings indicate the whoopers are spead out between Nebraska and
     Texas, with a group of 10 at Quivira NWR in Kansas on November 13.
     A major storm passed through the Dakotas on November 9-10 with
     Bismark, ND receiving 12-15 inches of snow.  This pushed the cranes
     south.

     Tides are still high at Aransas, and recent rains are once more
     flooding coastal Texas.  Bay salinities are approaching zero due to
     all the runoff.

        - Tom Stehn

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This report is archived on the Texas Whooping Cranes home page at:

        http://www.electrotex.com/aoc/

Good birding,
Patty Beasley
Corpus Christi, Texas