November 25, 1998
TO: Division of Endangered Species, USFWS, Albuquerque, NM
FROM: Whooping Crane Coordinator, Aransas NWR, Austwell, Texas
SUBJECT: Whooping Crane Census at Aransas
An aerial census of the Aransas NWR and surrounding areas made
11/25/98 revealed the presence of 128 adults and 12 young = 140
whooping cranes. The flight was made in charter aircraft with Tom
Stehn as observer and Tom Taylor, pilot.
Recap of cranes observed: (140)
Refuge Lamar San Jose Matagorda Welder Other Total
43+3 4+1 25+1 42+4 14+3 128+12=140
Remarks: An estimated 71 cranes have arrived since the last flight on
November 19, including nine new family groups. Most cranes arrived
with a Pacific cold front November 19-21.
An estimated 50+ cranes are still in migration, including a group of
six near Pratt, Kansas. Based on August production surveys, as many
as eight additional family groups could make it to Aransas. One crane
with an injured leg has remained at Quivira NWR in Kansas since
November 10. It is making daily flights of up to seven miles to feed
on corn. This bird is believed to be adult female o/w-BWsp (1986).
Its unbanded mate and juvenile are presently at Aransas on Grass
Island. I had erroneously reported that BwB-YbY had an injured leg at
Quivira NWR. BwB-YbY was present in a group of 12 with the injured
crane at Quivira, but is fine and is presently at Aransas with its