Greetings all,

The following report is 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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April 15, 1999

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 4/15/99 revealed the presence of 36 adults and 5 young = 41 whooping cranes. The flight was made in charter aircraft with Tom Stehn as observer and Tom Taylor, pilot. Peak population this winter was 165+18=183.

Recap of cranes observed: (41)

Refuge Lamar San Jose Matagorda WelderOther Total

14+2 2+1 6+1 12+1 2+0 36+5=41

Remarks: Visibility was excellent throughout the 4-hour flight. Since the previous flight on April 08, an estimated 14 + 3 = 17 cranes have started the migration. This spring, an estimated 13 out of 18 families (72%), 31 of 33 adult pairs (94%), and 41 of 63 subadults (61%) have migrated, a total of 142 of 183 cranes (78%). All but about a dozen subadults are expect to start migration within the next week.

Interesting locations included the following;

The Big Tree family was far from their territory in saltmarsh at the northeast end of Copano Bay north of Holiday Beach. Adult female RwR-YbY was still again closely associated with two other birds. The N. Allyn's Bight subadult was observed dancing and are a potential new nesting pair.

On April 9-11, nine cranes were documented in southwest Iowa. They were blown out of the usual mid-Nebraska migration corridor by a strong storm that later caused devastating tornados in Ohio. Present were six cranes including hs-W near DeSoto NWR, and a family group near Essex in Page County.

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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