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Whooping Cranes


MacMe
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So, I live close enough to Aransas National Wildlife Refuge to visit.  This is one of the very few places the critically endangered Whooping Crane migrates to in the winter.  2019 marked the third year in a row with an estimated population >500. I missed last years opportunity and I don't want to miss this years. I hear the best time to view them is in Jan-Feb but they hang around between Oct-Mar.  

If any of you knows a 'best place' to view them, let me know.  I figure the tower lookout is the best option.  If I spot one I'll share when and where on this thread

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Are you on eBird? If so, check there. You can find lots of places where people have been seeing Whooping Cranes recently. There are many spots where cranes show up that you can try for around Aransas. The most reliable place is to take a boat trip into the NWR, where you are almost guaranteed to see them (that's what I did andI highly recommend it). But, if you don't want to pay and have extra time to chase them elsewhere, see where they are being seen on eBird.

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11 hours ago, AlexHenry said:

There’s also some disturbingly massive wild boars around Aransas so be careful

Good advice!

I found some at the beginning of the heron flats trail at a veiwing platform last Febuary. Also saw Roseate Spoonbill, Wilson's Snipe, Greater & Lesser Yellowlegs, Tricolored Heron, Common Gallinule, Yellow-breasted Chat, Common Yellowthroat, and many others.

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Iv been to Aransas several times, although I've not been on the photo boat trip from Matagorda Island  before iv heard its worth the time and money.

Personally i have seen them along Heron Flats trail, along the auto tour road ( also Eagles nest along the route) and out on the tidal flats you can see from the Big observation towers.

also seen Green wing teals, least grebes, red headed ducks, herons one the jones lake viewing platform.

you should see this time of year lots of Ospreys and Vultures.

i also recommend Estero Llano Grande State Park only a few hours drive from Aransas. really cool smaller park with tons of birds around.

 

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  • 1 month later...

Got one! I did see a pair way far away and barely discernable in Aransas NWR.  I also saw a pair that were much closer to the road near Goose Island State Park, Texas.  Both sighting Jan 4, 2021.  This photo is at the latter location.

Whooping Crane 1.JPG

Edited by MacMe
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6 minutes ago, MacMe said:

Got one! I did see a pair way far away and barely discernable in Aransas NWR.  I also saw a pair that were much closer to the road near Goose Island State Park, Texas.  Both sighting Jan 4, 2021.  This photo is at the latter location.

Whooping Crane 1.JPG

Cool! I haven’t ever seen Whooping Cranes, I need to visit Texas!

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There aren't many out in the wild right now (2019 marked the 5th year in a row with >500 birds), and even fewer between the migratory route between their summer and winter roosts.  check out their range, hopefully your near one of the spots

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