Archive for November 4th, 2010

Whooping Crane Migration

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

This is Passport to Texas

This time of year when you look high overhead, you might just see whooping cranes.

10—Every year, about this time of year, we start getting emails and telephone calls from people all excited that they’ve seen whooping cranes flying over; and usually it’s between 50 and 100 birds.

But, Mark Klym, with the agency’s Wildlife Diversity program, says if you do witness a huge flock of big birds in the clouds…

07—I’m sorry, that’s not whooping cranes. Whooping Cranes never fly in a flock larger than about 10 birds, and very rarely more than six birds.

Well, maybe what you saw were sand hill cranes. Even so, North America’s biggest bird could still mingle in the mix.

05—Usually they’re off to the side. You’ll get the sand hills in a group and the whooping cranes off in a group on their own.

Whooping cranes, on the endangered species list, come through Texas’ Central Flyway this month on their way to the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge to overwinter.

15—We are optimistic that we are going to see a good population at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. Certainly a recovery from what we saw in the past winter.

And what happened in the past winter?

Well, with the drought, we had very few blue crabs in the bays and as result suffered; we had a few losses.

If you do see whooping cranes in migration, contact Mark Klym. You’ll find his information at

That’s our show…with support from the Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program… for Texas Parks and Wildlife …I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Whooping cranes are protected by federal and state endangered species laws, and Texans can help safeguard this national treasure by helping to prevent harm or harassment to whooping cranes. Anyone sighting a whooping crane is asked to report it to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department at (800) 792-1112, extension 4644 or, alternatively at (512) 847-9480. Sightings can also be reported via e-mail at

Check out this YouTube video of whooping cranes at Aransas national Wildlife Refuge.