February 23, 1999

Greetings all,

A heartfelt THANK YOU from Tom and I for all you wonderful folks who continue to monitor and post sightings of the Brazos Bend whooper. You guys are providing such an invaluable service, and we are deeply indebted. Accordingly, the following is a quick update of the whooper census for Texas, which now includes the reports on the Brazos Bend whooper sightings, along with the Sabinal whooper sightings.

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

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.

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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A record 182 cranes are believed to have arrived at Aransas, including 18 young birds.  Two of the 18 family groups arrived in December.  On January 4, 1999, an adult-plumaged whooping crane was confirmed wintering with sandhill cranes located west of San Antonio near Sabinal, Uvalde County, Texas.  This was a record 183rd bird in the flock.  A whooping crane was observed with sandhills on January 24 near Brazos Bend State Park in Fort Bend County, Texas and was still present through February 7.  It could be the crane observed near Sabinal (i.e. last seen January 21), an Aransas bird that moved north, or a new bird, possibly the juvenile during the 1997-98 that wintered with sandhills in Brazoria County and could have returned to the same general vicinity.  Because of this uncertainty, the peak winter count remained at 183.

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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