Friday, February 13, 2015

Whooping Cranes!

The long distance pics I took of the whooping cranes in the NWR were nice but when we went to Goose Island State Park in Larmar, just a few miles north of us and south of the NWR,  I thought to ask if there had been any sightings of the cranes in the park.  We were rewarded with a "yes" and shown on a map where the cranes had been sighted just outside the park.

We drove there directly and were able to view a handful of these beautiful birds in a pasture setting.  The whooping crane is an endangered species with only approx. 460 (back up from just over 100 in 2003) living in the wild.  The are the tallest bird in North America standing between 4 1/2 to 5 ft full grown.  In this pretty setting we were also fortunate to see some sandhill cranes in the distance behind the whooping cranes....and I had thought the sandhills were big!  It was quite a thrill!

 A sandhill crane in the background

 When this crane started flapping around, I thought it was just stretching.......
 until I saw the vulture standing behind it!

 This young one ran to it's parent and chased off the vulture in the process!

 The youngster is stretching his wings now

 Here is the family
 Some sandhills in the background....


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