Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A bad winter for Whooping Cranes

Whooping Crane
Originally uploaded by Laura Erickson
Chuck Hagner posted horrible news on Field of View, the Birder's World blog, about the Whooping Cranes that spend their winter at the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. We cranes almost went extinct, our numbers dropping to only 21 in the wild in 1941. So unlike humans, we're all related a little, and that makes it all the more distressing, despite my personal cushy ilfe at the International Crane Foundation. The drought in Texas really hurts wintering cranes. They NEED to eat lots of blue crabs in the estuary, but during droughts, with less fresh water coming in from the Aransas River, the water gets too salty for crabs. Cranes can die of starvation and get killed more easily by power lines and other stuff when they're flying farther in search of food.

What can we do to help? I don't know, but please keep them in your thoughts.

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