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Wed Apr 28, 2021, 12:37 AM

Whooping Cranes Are Nesting in Texas for the First Time in Over a Century

WHO: Two pairs of whooping cranes, one of the world’s most endangered birds.

WHAT: The animals are laying eggs in Texas—on private land in Jefferson and Chambers counties, east of Houston—for the first time since the late 1800s.

WHY IT’S SO GREAT: Every fall, the world’s last self-sustaining migratory flock of wild whooping cranes descends on the marshes of the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. One of only two crane species native to North America, the whooping crane is the continent’s tallest and rarest bird: five feet high with crisp white feathers, a red-capped head, and a ratcheting, mournful call. The wild flock’s 506 birds spend the winter in the 115,000-acre refuge, fattening up on blue crabs, clams, and fish, before traveling back to northern Canada to breed.

Birders from across the globe travel to Port Aransas every winter, seeking a rare chance to see whoopers and other migratory species. There’s even a Whooping Crane Festival each February (though it was scuttled this year due to the pandemic). But until now, the birds were just passing through. As the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced this week, two pairs of whooping cranes are nesting in Texas for the first time in more than a hundred years.

Read more: https://www.texasmonthly.com/being-texan/whooping-cranes-nesting-in-texas-for-first-time-in-over-a-century/


Whooping cranes along the Gulf Coast in the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge.
Wildnerdpix/Getty

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Reply Whooping Cranes Are Nesting in Texas for the First Time in Over a Century (Original post)
TexasTowelie Apr 2021 OP
CaliforniaPeggy Apr 2021 #1
calimary Apr 2021 #2
SunSeeker Apr 2021 #3
Dan Apr 2021 #4
TexasTowelie Apr 2021 #5
Dustlawyer Apr 2021 #6
rampartc Apr 2021 #9
ailsagirl Apr 2021 #7
Arkansas Granny Apr 2021 #8
Laurelin Apr 2021 #10

Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Wed Apr 28, 2021, 12:45 AM

1. What a hopeful bit of news! They are such beautiful birds. I hope their numbers increase! n/t

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Wed Apr 28, 2021, 02:10 AM

2. K&R!

Gosh! I hope there’ll be more! Hopefully a new trend.

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Wed Apr 28, 2021, 02:11 AM

3. Keep Abbott away from those precious creatures! nt

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Wed Apr 28, 2021, 02:48 AM

4. Texas, well will some member of the NRA shoot them?

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Response to Dan (Reply #4)

Wed Apr 28, 2021, 03:09 AM

5. Probably not since it carries a hefty fine and other consequences.

https://www.stmarynow.com/state-outdoor/10000-fine-killing-whooping-crane

Kaenon A. Constantin, 28, was sentenced on Thursday to five years of probation for killing and transporting a federally protected and endangered whooping crane, United States Attorney David C. Joseph said.

During his period of probation, Constantin must complete 360 hours of community service related to wildlife conservation.

As part of the sentence, Constantin’s hunting privileges have been suspended until he completes the community service. United States Magistrate Patrick Hanna also ordered Constantin to pay a $10,000 fine and to pay $75,000 in restitution to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

In November 2019, Constantin was named in a federal bill of information for violating the Lacey Act in May 2016. Specifically, on May 20, 2016, Constantin and a juvenile, using .22 caliber rifles, shot at a pair of whooping cranes located in a field within Acadia Parish. One of the cranes, identified as L5-15, fell dead in the field, and Constantin and his accomplice retrieved its carcass. The other crane, identified as L3-15, flew too far north into another field so that it could not be retrieved, but investigators later recovered its carcass.

After retrieving L5-15’s carcass, they noticed that it had transponders on its legs and received information that the bird was a whooping crane. Constantin and the juvenile transported the carcass to the juvenile’s residence, where they severed the legs from L5-15’s carcass by using a knife and removed the transponders.

They then transported the knife, carcass, severed legs, and transponders along a nearby road and discarded the evidence. When initially approached by investigators shortly after the crime, Constantin lied about his involvement, causing the investigation to continue for nearly two more years before he finally confessed in April 2018.

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Response to Dan (Reply #4)

Wed Apr 28, 2021, 03:14 AM

6. Some poachers here but our game wardens are plenty and serious about their jobs.

Other hunters here would not be happy either if they knew about these birds being back and someone was poaching. Texas is very big on wildlife conservation. Our state government cares more about the wildlife than many people here.

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Response to Dan (Reply #4)

Wed Apr 28, 2021, 07:19 AM

9. they will certainly be shot in louisiana

https://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/news/man-from-rayne-sentenced-for-whooping-crane-violations

that is why they are so endangered.

i've never seen a whooping crane in the wild, but once on the mobile bay i was startled by the biggest bird that has ever been that close. the sandhill crane is a magnificent bird as well.

oh, here is the story i was looking for .....

https://thinkingafield.org/2020/07/federal-court-sentences-louisiana-man-for-killing-whooping-cranes.html

"Illegal shootings represent 30 percent of the known mortalities in the Louisiana non-migratory population of Whooping Cranes. This is the highest percentage of any of the wild populations of Whooping Cranes. Louisiana has the highest confirmed Whooping Crane shooting rate of any state or province, with 12 Whooping Cranes being poached since the start of the reintroduction in 2011."

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Wed Apr 28, 2021, 03:26 AM

7. That's very good news! n/t

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Wed Apr 28, 2021, 03:35 AM

8. I remember learning about Whooping cranes when I was in school back in the 50's.

As I recall, there were only 30 or so of them in the wild. They had been hunted to near extinction.

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Wed Apr 28, 2021, 08:56 AM

10. Thanks, Dr. Slack!

And all the many people I don't know who made this possible. It's thrilling news.

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