Back on June 10th, I posted an article about the possible shooting of the world's oldest whooping crane, the Lobstick male, in April in South Dakota while he was migrating north. It was never determined if the dead crane was the 34-year-old male. He was banded in Wood Buffalo National Park in Canada in 1978 when he was just a few weeks old. His bands have long disappeared and the only way to identify him is by voice printing of his unison calls.
If you've ever taken the whooping crane boat tour to the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, chances are you've seen Mr. Lobstick and his mate. They occupied the first territory as the boat enters the refuge. Tommy Moore, captain of the Skimmer, and owner of Rockport Birding and Kayak Adventures, claims he's seen the bird recently and believes him to still be alive.
|Whooper and chick on ANWR: Feb. 2012 |
(photo taken by me)
Not only is the Lobstick male the oldest wild whooping crane, he and his mate have been the most productively prolific, having successfully raised seventeen chicks during their lifetime.
(See Tom Stehn's article "Lobsitck Whooper Remains a Mystery" on Whooping Cranc Conservation Association's website December 21: http://whoopingcrane.com/lobstick-whooper-remains-a-mystery/
Labels: Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, endangered species, Lobstick male, whooping crane, Whooping Crane Conservation Association, Wood Buffalo National Park