and juvenile danciing
Image: Klaus Nigge
Journey North Kids,
spring I see the palm trees bent over by strong coastal winds, yet
the whoopers stay put until late March. So give the cranes another
week and maybe we'll start seeing some movement the last few days
of March and first week in April. They have evolved not to leave
Aransas too early or they will encounter frozen landscape when they
get into the Dakotas. So they've evolved to start the migration when
the days get to be a certain length in the spring. I'm always amazed
how a bird can tell that the days are getting longer, but somehow
Timing: Is It Changing?
in Nebraska with the USFWS, Jeanine Lackey reported a pair of birds
was confirmed in Kansas on March 16, and by March 22 she confirmed
a group of four and another twosome. A single was also confirmed
in Nebraska. Until
last year, the general "rule" was
that very few Whooping cranes ever started the migration
But that may be changing. Last year (2010) the
first Whooping crane had departed the Texas coast by February
a very "early" record. Between March 16 and
March 23, another 12 Whooping cranes had been reported
Texas and Nebraska in the Central Flyway. There were
a few early starts this year, too.
do you think will happen next?
I'll have more news in a week!
Stehn, Whooping Crane Coordinator
Aransas National Wildlife Refuge