Nebraska Ornithologists' Union



Date of this Version



"Cooperative Whooping Crane Tracking Project (March 1999-May 1999)" in Nebraska Bird Review (September 1999) 67(3).


Copyright 1999, Nebraska Ornithologists' Union. Used by permission.


A peak population of 182 (164 adult/subadult and 18 juvenile) whooping cranes was reported at Aransas during the winter of 1998-99. An adult plumaged whooping crane, which wintered with sandhill cranes about 90 miles northeast of Aransas in Fort Bend County, was the record 183rd bird in the wintering flock. No birds are known to have been lost at Aransas during the winter. A 1986 colormarked female with a broken leg, last observed at Quivira NWR on December 29, 1998, was not reported during the spring migration, and is assumed to be dead. An estimated 183 whooping cranes migrated north in the spring of 1999, a net increase of 2 birds from the 181 present in spring, 1998. Departures from Aransas were about one week ahead of average. All cranes had migrated by April 21.