Tom Stehn's Report: Season Summary
April 29, 2011
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Meet USFWS Whooping Crane Coordinator Tom Stehn

Dear Journey North,

Two cranes were still present at Aransas on April 17, but those birds were not relocated on a subsequent check. However, they could conceivably still be present. Based on observed departures at Aransas, the migration appeared to be about a week early this spring. However, those "early birds" encountered blizzards in the Dakotas in the middle of April that slowed the migration.

The Cooperative Whooping Crane Tracking Office in Grand Island, Nebraska has compiled 45 confirmed sightings in the central flyway since March 4, 2011. The office received another 18 unconfirmed and 5 probable reports.
Confirmed sightings, US Confirmed sightings, Canada
NE = 19
ND = 11
SD = 8
KS = 4
OK = 2
MT = 1
Mark Bidwell of Environment Canada reports that several whooping cranes have been confirmed in Saskatchewan. (The first sighting in Canada occurred on April 11th.)

The Eleven Radio-banded Cranes
As of April 28th, four of the radioed birds had reached the nesting grounds in Wood Buffalo National Park. The first arrived Apr. 25th. Six
birds are in Saskatechewan; one is near the Alberta border and five are scattered through the central portion of the province. The last bird just left Nebraska for North Dakota. (Journey North's Map will be updated to show locations when data comes in on April 29.)

Tom Stehn, Whooping Crane Coordinator
Aransas National Wildlife Refuge
Austwell, Texas