Whooping Crane book shows ‘Moore’ to story

Jul 30, 2010 | Rockport Pilot by Norma Martinez | Related Press

Leading Whooping Crane tours over the last few years sparked an idea in Capt. Tommy Moore’s mind, but he didn’t put pen to paper until last year when the project finally came to fruition. That project is the release of his first book The Lobstick Prince – A Whooping Crane Story, which is illustrated by local artist Evelyn Atkinson.

Moore explained the book is based on a true story about a family of Whooping Cranes who spend the winter at the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge Complex and spring at Wood Buffalo National Park in Canada. The father was born in 1978, and later met his mate in 1981. They were called the “Lobstick Pair.”

The two had a son, the Lobstick Prince, born in 2004, who made a miraculous recovery from a snake bite.

Whooping Cranes, an endangered species, have made an amazing comeback since 1941 when there were only 15. Now there are more than 150.

Moore has been leading Whooping Crane tours since 2003 and has the unique opportunity to observe them every day. Hearing the story about the Lobstick Pair and their offspring, Moore said he thought it was a great story.

He talked about writing it in a book form. He explained he has many people who come aboard his vessel for a Whooping Crane tour who enjoy hearing the story and that inspired him.

However that inspiration and the final act of working on the book took a few years. Moore said he worked with Atkinson to design a t-shirt for his business, Rockport Adventures, and the idea came to him to have her illustrate the book.

Atkinson joked, “I said, ‘sure,’ knowing it would never happen.”

Moore said she did a few illustrations as he finished the book, then they got together and discussed which ones would be best to use.

He admitted, “She knocked out the paintings quicker than I knocked out the book.”

Moore quickly added, “It’s been fun.”

Since the book’s release in November, they have sold more than 1,000 copies. Moore is especially proud $1 of each sale goes to the San Marcos River Foundation whose mission is to preserve and protect the flow, natural beauty and purity of the San Marcos River, which flows into Aransas County and is important to the survival of the whoopers.

Another $1 from each book goes to the Rockport Center for the Arts.

The book is not specially geared toward children, but is more for anyone interested in the outdoors, and particularly birding or wildlife. It could, however, be considered student literature and used to teach youngsters and teens about Whooping Cranes. Moore said he has not talked to local schools about using the book, but could do so in the future.

The book is available at the Art Center, Rockport Birding and Kayak Adventures office, Crane House, TG’s, and For the Birds.

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