Nebraska Ornithologists' Union


Date of this Version



Anschutz, "Whooping Crane Sightings during July-December 1995 Migration," from Nebraska Bird Review (December 1995) 63(4).


Copyright 1995, Nebraska Ornithologists' Union. Used by permission.


The first dates recorded for confirmed observations of migrating Whooping Cranes were July 13 in Canada and September 2 in the United States, and the last date was November 6 in Nebraska. Sightings were reported in Canada from Alberta (1) and Saskatchewan (34), and in the U.S. from North Dakota (4), South Dakota (1), Nebraska (4), Kansas (10), and Oklahoma (2). The weather during September and October was mild with minor disturbances on Sept. 20 and Oct. 23 causing snow over the Northern Great Plains. The first significant outbreak of cold air occurred during the week of November 5. Based on reported sightings, the peak of the migration occurred between October 21 and November 3. On Oct. 30, 30 Whooping Cranes were confirmed on the ground in Kansas. The migration progressed quite rapidly, and by November 7, 122 birds had arrived at the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in Texas. By mid-December 155 birds (127 adults/subadults and 28 young, both record numbers) were overwintering at Aransas.