Whooping Cranes – A letter to National Geographic

by Jim Wiegand, a Berkeley-trained wildlife biologist.  Jim has walked thousands of square miles of northern California over the past decades, mapping raptors and studying their behavior.

Hello, I read your recent article about the Whooping Crane population and I would like to share some additional insight with National Geographic.

As you well know, last year (2009) the Whooping Crane flock, lost 57 members. In Texas 23 were reported lost on their wintering grounds. Officially some of this decline is attributed to the South Texas drought that affected the birds’ food and water sources. I think there is much more to this story that needs to be told. At one time there were tens of thousands of these Whooping cranes that wintered in Texas. I know time has changed their habitat but a little flock of 270 should be able to find plenty food in Texas. Continue reading