A record number of whooping cranes have been tallied at their winter home on the Texas Gulf Coast.
Authorities counted 149 of the endangered birds this week at the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. That’s the most ever since the federal government started taking censuses in the 1930s.
“We’ve been looking forward to this day for a long, long time,” said refuge manager Brent Giezentanner.
The old record was 146, set in the winter of 1990-1991. Last year, 132 whooping cranes wintered at the refuge, about 50 miles north of Corpus Christi. One hundred forty-six whooping cranes are in captivity.