Early Migration

It would appear that the wild flock of Whooping cranes are already on the move. Refuge staff at Aransas are reporting that four adult Whoopers in the Wood Buffalo-Aransas flock have been spotted in Texas already.

We’ve had exciting news here at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge: four adult whooping cranes arrived about a month ahead of normal early arrival time! These four birds were first sighted on Friday, September 12 by an area fishing guide and confirmed with photos by Refuge staff on Monday, September 15. Although not unheard of, this early arrival is fairly rare. The average early arrival date for wintering whooping cranes is around the second week of October. We haven’t had any other migration reports as of yet, but as frontal passages become more frequent, migration should begin in earnest.

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  1. Margie Tomlinson September 24, 2014 1:31 pm

    What exciting news, Heather! My Son was just telling me that the Canada Geese had been flying South over MN a whole month earlier than usual, too! This ought to tell all those non-believers in climate change a thing or two. Thanks for the report!

  2. Kathleen Kaska September 23, 2014 10:25 am

    Okay, it’s time for me to dust off my wings and head south!


  3. chatty stover September 23, 2014 10:12 am

    My students and I have been “doing” JN Whooping Crane Migration for 3 years. We are wondering why the captive bred whoopers are late leaving. Waiting for JN reports. Here in GA, birds left our feeders several weeks ago – very unusual. I have even seen chickadees early here. Hmmm. We are wondering if the birds know something we don’t about the coming winter.

  4. Maxgreenwing September 23, 2014 6:08 am

    Very pleased to hear the 4 adults made it safely to Texas. That is a long trip! Thank you Heather 🙂