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Born May 2003
2003 Year of the
Famous Lobstick Twins
The Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, Texas has a lot of magic. The oldest crane in the world, "Hoss" 25 years old and his mate "Lady" brought not one but two bundles of joy to the refuge in November 2003. The Lobstick pair are named after the Lobstick Marshes in Wood Buffalo National Park in Canada. For nearly half the entire year, from about early November until mid-April the Lobstick Family occupied traditional winter quarters along a very small part of the Texas Coastline. The primary Flock of Whooping Cranes spread out as pairs and family groups, which maintain exclusive foraging territories. These territories are established soon after fall arrival and are maintained until just prior to spring departure.
On the average, about 400 acres of salt flat ponds and estuaries comprise a single territory. Within the territories, the birds forage on a wide diversity of animal and plant materials. The most important is the blue crab, which are abundant and easily captured.
The male of the pair, takes primary responsibility for defending the territory and also serves as the leader in making any moves within territories. At the edges of these territories the birds may threaten or even fight with one another.
The "Unison Call"
The “Unison Call”, displayed by the pair in the photograph, is a signal. Calling, by one or both of the pairs alerts of potential threat and provides an emotional pair bonding when they are confronted with territorial intruders. The upper left male crane in the photograph sounded his trumpeting alert, the female soon joined in unison with the male, but the juvenile twins paid little attention to the territorial dispute.