February 19, 2009

Whooping Cranes!!!

This morning we went out on a boat trip to Aransas National Wildlife Refuge to see the Whooping Cranes that winter here.  There are only about 300 Whooping Cranes in the wild!  They are very territorial with each other, so you’ll only see a family group per suitable territory.  We got in very close to a couple of different groups and the cranes continued on with their feeding despite the boat and all its gawking tourists. We saw a lot of other interesting birds including a Peregrine Falcon, a Crested Caracara, Ospreys, Common Loons, and Black Skimmers.  Dolphins were also spotted in the water!

Common Loon - by Joel Such

Two Whooping Cranes - by Renee Haip

Royal Tern - by Marcel Such

Brown Pelican - by Joel Such

Whooping Crane - by Joel Such

Whooping Crane - by Joel Such

Whooping Crane - by Joel Such

Peregrine Falcon - by Joel Such

After returning to the dock, we went to Aransas National Wildlife Refuge again, but this time by car.  We drove the auto loop and did a couple of walks.  We spotted a Brown Thrasher and White-throated Sparrows at Dagger Point. American Bittern and Marsh Wren were seen on the Rail Trail as the light was fading.

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