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Lone whooper remains at refuge wintering grounds

By JJ VELASQUEZ
May 20, 2010 at 12:20 a.m.


AUSTWELL - A lone whooping crane remains on its wintering grounds at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge.

The white-feathered endangered bird was spotted on a flight that refuge specialists conducted Wednesday.

Specialists believe it could be a crane named Scarbaby, which has failed to migrate the last few years, according to the flight report.

The other cranes have begun their 2,500-mile migration to their nesting grounds in Wood Buffalo National Park, in Saskatchewan, Canada.

The last confirmed flock count was 263 before the birds left to their nesting grounds.

In 2009, 23 whooping cranes died. It was the deadliest winter on record for the birds.

The flock grew by 16 birds this year.

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