Sunday, December 25, 2011

Whooping Cranes!


Check it out. I saw some Whooping Cranes (one of the rarest birds in North America) at Aransas NWR, they're awesome. (!) I had seen two last year but they were so far out I had to hurt my eyes to get any kind of look. I saw 17 total this time, a few flyovers and the rest were foraging. Cool stuff. I finally spotted a family group not too far from the road, in the recent burned area (think they burned it just 10 days ago or so). The photos aren't great but I was just happy to get to watch and admire these guys for thirty minutes with no one else around. (Nice!) Also happy you can actually tell they are Whooping Cranes and not little blobs. Pretty sweet. The juvie (with the brown) was adorable. And you'll notice they have no leg bands. I love them. Oh yeah - happy holidays and all that jazz, eh?

24 comments:

Woody said...

I have never seen a photo of a female before, she's amazing with the spots. Happy holidaze right back at 'ya.

Kelly said...

...lucky duck! Two have been sighted about 3 hours from our house in Indiana. I might head over with a friend next week. If I do, I hope I can as fantastic a view as you!

Out on the prairie said...

I found some in a marsh this last year, they are the only resident sighting in the state.Their migration in NE is amazing.

Seagull Steve said...

Roadside Whoopers? Two words: Fuck yeah.

Johnny Nutcase said...

Woodmeister- the speckled buddy is actually a juvie (who could very well be a female!)
Steve- roadside kinda - have you been to Aransas? There's a 16 mile driving loopshmoop, which i drove three different times in three days (what?) . I found 'em near there the day they were doing the xmas bird count (which i didn't participate in , though should have). It was rad. fuck yeah.

Luisa said...

And a family group...! Beyond awesome. Best wishes for great holidays, though it looks like you're doing pretty well as is --

L

Amy said...

Ha, ditto what Mr. Seagull said! Awesome sighting, thanks for sharing it.

Nature Rambles said...

That must have been so exciting! Lovely birds!

Andrew said...

Beautiful birds to see..

TexWisGirl said...

how very cool! we used to get them at a preserve in Wis. near where i grew up. haven't seen them in Tx but also haven't traveled to find 'em!

Gary said...

Great sighting!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

holdingmoments said...

Lovely looking birds. :-)

Robin said...

Wow, what a lucky day! Great captures. What a privilege to see them!

Dave said...

I sense your excitment. Days like these live long in the memory

Conratulations

Dave

Pat said...

A great sighting and wonderful captures! I love seeing these long-legged birds walking through the tall grass.

Arija said...

A delicious sighting indeed Jill and to have them for yourself alone was the icing on the cake. They remind me of the cranes that fly south from Russia in about October.
Love to see you snabbling rare birds.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Splendid jewels, they truly are such beauties. I wanted to get to TN for the festival of the Sandhill Cranes, but must miss that again this coming month. You were so fortunate to have seen these Whooping Cranes~

mick said...

Great photos and how lovely to see them that close and without interference from others.

heyBJK said...

Gorgeous photos!

Carole Meisenhelter said...

made me smile; I'd never heard of them before ...

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Cool cool cool -- and we have actually seen those birds -- at the same place back when we wintered in Port Aransas! But we went on a tour boat -- got some good views though. Thanks for the memories and the great pictures.

Springman said...

Talk about ending your year with an exclamation point! Whooping cranes?! Incredible. Nice pics too.
Happy New Year!

Larry said...

Beyond words Jill! If I ever get to Texas to bird, it will be in the winter so I can see this truly magnificent bird. I love Whoopers and support them every year. To see the wild born birds out there, on your own, must have been a dream come true! Congratulations on a super experience!

Hilke Breder said...

Glorious birds! It's so special to actually see such a rare bird rescued from the brink of extinction.