Whooping Cranes Spotted Along Migratory Route

By: Chester McConnell, Whooping Crane Conservation Association

The fall migration of whooping cranes is at its peak according to the Whooping
Crane Conservation Association. Of the approximate 300 whooping cranes in the
total original wild flock, 128 have been positively spotted from North Dakota
to Texas. The whoopers have followed this migratory path for thousands of
years. Trained, professional wildlife personnel from federal and state agencies
and private conservation groups monitor the migration route to keep check on
the cranes.

Martha C. Tacha, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Grand Island,
Nebraska advises that, there is “Lots of activity in the flyway
since the last update a week ago.” Tacha stated, “I’m sure the weather
front that moved through the Flyway recently will move the
cranes some more! The cranes are still strung from North Dakota to Aransas,
Texas but there are currently more cranes in Kansas and Oklahoma than last

Ms. Tacha informed the Whooping Crane Conservation Association
of one disturbing observation. She advised that at least two
whooping crane families have lost a parent. According to
Tacha, “The loss of breeding adults from 2 pairs is unfortunate; particularly
going into what may be a difficult winter at Aransas.”

A reassuring observation was also made by the trained spotters.
They detected the apparent presence of at least 5 whooping
crane families with twins. At first there was some doubt about the count
because it was unexpected. Yet 5 twin pairs were detected and there is little
chance the same cranes could have been counted twice due to the distance
between the observations.  The Whooping Crane Conservation Association will
continue to monitor the recent discoveries and provide more details as we learn
about them.