Whooping Crane
Steve Hillebrand - USFWS

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Whooping Crane

Journey North News will be posted on Tuesdays
Feb. 27, Mar. 13, 27, Apr. 3, 10, 17, 24, May 8


Journey North News

  • Whooping Crane Migration Update: February 27, 2001
    The counts are in, and the totals for the world's only natural wild flock of whooping cranes have plummeted from last winter's record high of 188. Why? What new discovery about crane vocalizations can help efforts to save this endangered species? Find out how good your hearing is with questions using crane calls recorded by Dr. Bernhard Wessling, and see what plans are coming up for whooping cranes.
  • Whooping Crane Migration Update: March 13, 2001
    Surprise! Some Aransas whooping cranes may be headed north much earlier than usual! Tom Stehn came up WAY SHORT when he tried to find all 176 wintering whooping cranes on his recent aerial census. Could the migration be affected by a food shortage at Aransas? See three new challenge questions and some great lessons, too!
  • Whooping Crane Migration Update: March 27, 2001
    Just about all the whooping cranes are still on the wintering grounds at Aransas. Meanwhile, some new plans are underway to scrutinize their migration over the central Platte River. Why does Tom Stehn predict another poor nesting season? Where are the sandhill cranes that followed the ultralight plane to learn their migration route last fall? See the analysis of Berhnard Wessling's newest crane recordings. And learn all about how cranes fly with our new in-depth flight lesson.
  • Whooping Crane Migration Update: April 3, 2001
    Tom Stehn predicts that small groups of whooping cranes will depart on time-- maybe even today, thanks to the right weather forecast. Could crane "peer pressure" affect the timing of departures? A second migratory flock of wild whooping cranes may soon come into existence. Plans are underway for a small new flock that would summer in Wisconsin and winter in Florida, just as they did until 1911. Cranes follow a biological clock that works; test your own biological clocks. And sharpen your pencils for this week's challenge question.
  • Whooping Crane Migration Update: April 10, 2001
    Seven whooping cranes were confirmed flying over Nebraska on April 8! Tom Stehn estimates as many as 34 of the flock's 174 have headed north. Most of the departures normally occur between April 4-12, so whoopers seem right on schedule, and Tom gives the stragglers two more weeks. Meanwhile, how do cellular towers threaten the cranes that are migrating? How safe are whooping cranes from oil spills on their Texas wintering grounds?
  • Whooping Crane Migration Update: April 17, 2001
    Many whoopers are headed north, but stragglers still remain at Aransas. Has the weather in Nebraska been responsible for few confirmed sightings over the Platte? Tom Stehn explains the two conditions most helpful for migrating cranes. When conditions are right, whoopers can travel about 420 miles in a day. Ferret out one crane's unique life story from raw banding data, just like crane biologists do!
  • Whooping Crane Migration Update: April 24, 2001
    The first whoopers are arriving in Canada, with sightings in Saskatchewan. At Aransas, the crane countdown continues with just 21 remaining. Tom Stehn estimates that about 153 cranes have started the migration, right on schedule. Back on territory, what's next for the cranes? Hear the facts about territories and new nests each year. And check out the weather maps to see what kind of welcome awaits the whoopers in Canada.
  • FINAL Whooping Crane Migration Update: May 8, 2001
    All but one whooping crane has migrated, and some should be already sitting on nests in Canada. Cranes are known for their spectacular dances; meet the man who dances with cranes! After the eggs hatch, what must chicks learn from their parents? The whoopers' successful journey north isn't the only migration we're celebrating today. On April 27, all but two of the 11 ultralight sandhills from Operation Migration returned to the grass strip where they were trained to follow an ultralight plane---after leaving Florida on February 25 and traveling for 62 days without ANYONE spotting them! What's next for whoopers? Exciting news!

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