Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Whooping Cranes


One of my Facebook friends posted photos of whooping cranes, making me jealous  inspiring me to travel south in search of them myself.   



Success!  Once numbering only 15 in 1941, there are currently over 500 in North America.  They are still one of the most endangered birds in the world and they spend their winters here in Texas.  They can
also be found at their nesting grounds in Wood Buffalo National Park, Canada.


Upon my arrival at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, I asked the volunteer rangers on duty at the headquarters where I would be most likely the see the whooping cranes.  I found a pair at Heron Flats, just as they said I might.  Each pair vigorously defends a territory of about 250 acres in size, so it's unlikely to find more than a small family in one spot.  

The next morning I spotted a family on the side of the road.  Along Highway 35 between Rockport and Aransas NWR is where I took these photos.    


Standing five feet tall, these are the tallest birds in the United States.  If I was closer to him when he did this I would have been frightened and might have been tempted to run.  They keep their distance, though, and will likely be quite a distance away when spotted.  These certainly tested the limits of my zoom lens.  


I'm linking up with Wild Bird Wednesday.  Visit to view birds from around the world or link up your own.



14 comments:

  1. These are great shots! I would love to be able to see them in person.

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  2. Louisiana Wildlife is trying to help the population here, but two of them were shot last weekend. One died and the other is at LSU vet school with a repaired wing and on antibiotics. I wonder why anyone would shoot this beautiful bird? Love your images and you were very fortunate to spot these. :)

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  3. I'm amazed that you found them and got the shots. You must have a resourceful birding community.

    First time I've seen pictures of the Whooping Crane. Extraordinary!

    Thanks for dropping by my site last week. I'm always glad to hear from you. :)

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  4. Wow, I'm only a few inches taller than these cranes:) Thanks for commenting on my blog earlier!

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  5. Wonderful shots Jen, they are such amazing birds!

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  6. Wow, very cool sighting of the Whooping Cranes. I read their numbers ARE REALLY LOW.

    Happy Valentine's Day to you and yours! Have a great weekend!


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  7. How special that you captured these with your camera!

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  8. How exciting! I've never seen one; we don't have them here in Virginia.

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  9. Now thats a bird that would get me off Facebook and into the car as well! Nice pictures.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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  10. Oh how lucky you are to have seen these - and to get such beautiful photos. We saw Sandhill Cranes in Wisconsin a year ago - and I got some nice photos. They used to be endangered but now are prolific - lets hope the same for the others.

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  11. What a lovely series of photos! I've never seen one before, so I appreciate you sharing yours!

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  12. Aren't they amazing? I remember we took a boat out somewhere into the gulf to see them.

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