Nebraska Ornithologists' Union



Date of this Version



"Fall 1991 and Spring 1992 Whooping Crane Reports," in Nebraska Bird Review (June 1992) 60(2): 61-64.


Copyright 1992, Nebraska Ornithologists' Union. Used by permission.


Information on whooping crane sightings along the migration routes was summarized and distributed by the Fish and wildlife Service Nebraska/Kansas Field Office in Grand Island. Many organizations and individuals participated in this important project. A few general comments will be made before giving details of the Nebraska sightings.

The first dates for confirmed sightings of whooping cranes on the fall 1991 migration were August 12 in Canada (Saskatchewan) and October 8 in the United States (Nebraska); the last date was November 19 in Oklahoma. A total of 132 whooping cranes (82 adults, 42 subadults, and 8 juveniles) spent the winter of 1991-92 at Aransas. One adult was lost during the winter, but all the rest had left Aransas by April 15, 1992. The first sighting for the spring 1992 migration was on April 8 near Dinsmore, Saskatchewan (the earliest sighting in this Canadian province since the spring of 1976). Nebraska reported 5 of the 50 confirmed sightings during the fall migration, and 13 of the 21 sightings during the spring migration.

By mid-June 1992, 40 nests and 35 chicks had been located on the breeding grounds. Between 1977 and 1988, 132 juvenile whooping cranes were color-marked with leg bands, and 61 of these were accounted for during the winter of 1991-92. The Fish and wildlife Service stresses the importance of observers looking for the colored leg bands as a means of providing new information on the migration patterns of these magnificent birds.

An unbanded whooping crane spent the summer of 1991 in northwestern Nebraska. The fall 1991 and spring 1992 Nebraska sightings of whooping cranes are given in the following tables. For information on sightings in other regions, contact Mr. Wally Jobman, Fish and Wildlife Enhancement, USFWS, NE/KS Field Office, 203 West Second Street, Grand Island, NE 68801.