Another 49.2 Miles
The other "experienced" Eastern cranes who followed the ultralights in 2001 and 2002 are staying put for now. The first departure last year was 2001 Crane #7, who left Wisconsin November 15. But if you live in the Central Flyway, look up and you just might see wild Whooping cranes; the only natural wild flock, which numbered a record 198 adults and young on August 31, is now migrating between their nesting grounds in Canada's far north and their wintering grounds at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge on the Texas Gulf Coast. Tom Stehn (Texas) and Brian Johns (Canada), leaders of the Whooping Crane Recovery Team, report exciting news. Since Tom's October 23rd census on the Aransas Refuge, the Lobstick pair of adults has arrived with TWO chicks! (It's rare for two sibling chicks to survive to fledge, let alone migrate.) Before their arrival, Tom reported: "Five whooping cranes all believed to be subadults were present on the wintering grounds, distributed as two duos and a single. The first 2 whooping cranes arrived on October 18th with a weak cold front that brought clear skies and northeast winds. This was just 2 days after the average Whooping crane first arrival date of October 16. Most of the flock is still in migration, with sightings in the past week reported mostly in North Dakota and Saskatchewan.
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