October 21, 2008
The first whooping crane arrival at
Aransas was reported the afternoon of October 20th. USFWS
Pilot/Biologists Jim Bredy and Patrick Walther spotted the
single crane on the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge while doing
an aerial waterfowl survey. The bird was in the east shore
marshes about 1 mile west of Wynne's Cut. At present, we know of
only the single
crane to be at Aransas, although only about 2/3's of the crane area was covered during the aerial waterfowl census.
The October 20th sighting is just 4 days after the average first whooping crane arrival date of October 16th. A cold front with north winds that reached Aransas on October 17th presumably helped the crane complete the 2,400 mile migration. The next cold front is forecast to reach Aransas on October 23 and should bring more whooping cranes.
Tom Stehn, Whooping Crane
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
P.O. Box 100
Austwell, TX 77950
(361) 286-3559 Ext. 221
fax (361) 286-3722