Greetings all,

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

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An aerial census of the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge and surrounding
areas made April 20, 2000 located only 5 whooping cranes.  An estimated 10
cranes have started the migration since the last flight on April 13,
including the final two adult pairs.  As expected, all adults have normally
left the wintering grounds by April 20.

Present were 4 subadults and 1 juvenile, all on Aransas.  The juvenile that
had separated from its parents was closely associated with three subadults.
One subadult was by itself across from Rattlesnake Island.

These remaining cranes are expected to leave sometime within the next two
weeks.  Obviously, they are in no hurry since they don't have to get to the
nesting grounds to breed.  Occasionally one or two whooping cranes will
fail to migrate and spend the summer at Aransas.  I hope none of the five
cranes do this since I always worry that cranes failing to migrate are
sick.

Tom Stehn,  USFWS  Whooping Crane Coordinator

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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.)

Good birding!
Patty Beasley
Corpus Christi, Texas