For years I have wanted to see the whooping cranes when they were here for the winter. It seems something always came up. But finally, in early February of this year, we made the trip. It would have been a perfect trip except that my husband got food poisoning the day before we left. He didn’t feel like going on the boat so I went alone. We had checked out all kinds of possibilities of things that could mess up the trip before leaving, but we forgot about a major one – fog. As I got on the boat and we headed out, we could hardly see in front of us. In some of my pictures from the refuge, I couldn’t even tell there were birds in them. But right as the boat was about to head back to shore, the sun broke through and at the very last possible spot we could have seen the cranes, there were three about forty yards from the boat. The captain knew that we all wanted pictures so he hung around about thirty minutes while everyone was taking pictures like crazy.
Whooping cranes are very interesting creatures. First of all, they are huge. They almost are as tall as I am. They form families, and the two mates stay together for their lives. In the picture above the brown headed crane is the baby, although he appears to be well fed and bigger than the parent.
The only thing that I didn’t see that I would have really like to have seen was a crane flying. I would have loved to have seen the wingspan. It is supposed to be something like seven feet. Oh well, better luck next time.
For more information about whooping cranes please check this website: https://www.nwf.org/Educational-Resources/Wildlife-Guide/Birds/Whooping-Crane