Nebraska Ornithologists' Union


Date of this Version



Anschutz, “Whooping Crane Sightings during March-May 1997 Migration,” from Nebraska Bird Review (September 1997) 65(3).


During the 1996-97 winter, 158 (143 adult/subadult and 15 juvenile) Whooping Cranes stayed at the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in Texas. Two early migrants in Nebraska were an adult-plumaged bird first observed on 9 March, and a juvenile confirmed on 19 March. Neither of these birds wintered at Aransas, so the total population was therefore 160 (144 adult/subadult and 16 juvenile). All 158 cranes wintering at Aransas were present 3 April, but by 10 April, about 103 cranes had begun to migrate, and by 24 April, only 13 cranes were still at Aransas. All cranes had migrated by 6 May.