Saturday, March 31, 2012

Whooping Cranes Migrating Early

Whooping Cranes / USFWS Photo
You can add Whooping Cranes to the list of birds moving north early this spring.
It's been an unusual year for whooping cranes in Texas, and the endangered species' spring migration is the latest example. Researchers report several whooping crane families initiated their spring migration nearly a month earlier than usual, with some birds already having reached South Dakota.

Texans are asked to report sightings of these large white birds as they progress along their migration route northward from the coast through Central Texas and the Wichita Falls area.

After a winter distribution that surprised biologists and kept birders enchanted with unprecedented sighting opportunities for one of North America's most ancient bird species, the unusually early start of the migration to nesting grounds in Canada does not surprise Texas Parks and Wildlife Department biologist Lee Ann Linam.
I am not surprised either, given the unusually warm spring and last year's drought in the southern U.S.