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  • Claudia Fonkert, Macalester College

    April 24, 1997

    Each spring the entire flock of wild whooping cranes takes the annual 2,500 mile journey from their wintering grounds on the Texas Gulf Coast to their nesting grounds in northern Canada. These wild cranes were on the brink of extinction in the 1940's, and only 159 are alive today.

    The spring migration is now underway. Last week, just 22 of the 159 cranes remained on the wintering grounds. Here are sightings recently reported from points along their migratory path:

    Whooping Crane Sightings
    Reported April 17-24, 1997

    Date State/Province Location # Cranes
    4/17/97 TEXAS Wintering Grounds, Aransas National Wildlife Refuge 22 cranes
    4/15-16/97 NEBRASKA Kearney County, NE.
    6 mi. south and 11 east of Minden
    2 adults.
    4/15-16/97 NEBRASKA Holt County, NE.
    1 mi. so. & 2.5 west of Atkinson
    2 adults.
    4/15-17/97 NEBRASKA Custer County, NE.
    8 mi. east of Callaway.
    2 adults and 1 juvenile.
    4/18-19/97 NEBRASKA Phelps County, NE.
    4.5 mi. south and 1 west of Overton
    1 juvenile with sandhill cranes.
    4/21-23/97 NEBRASKA Platte River, Buffalo County, NE.
    5 mi. so. & 2 w. of Gibbon
    3 adults.
    4/17/97 SOUTH DAKOTA Brule County, SD.
    Flying over NE edge of Chamberlain
    4 birds.
    4/17-18/97 NORTH DAKOTA McLean County, ND.
    4 mi. west and 0.5 south of Garrison
    2 adults and 1 juvenile.