Whooping Crane Family

I love whooping cranes.

These cranes are endangered and rare and are just so beautiful and elegant that I can watch and photograph them for hours. Which is exactly what my photography buddy Bob Karcz and I were able to do in Rockport, Texas on Aransas Bay. Aransas National Wildlife Refuge is the wintering grounds of the whooping crane. Home to a small but reliable sub-flock (Wood Buffalo – Aransas Flock) of the total crane population of about 600 birds. Through conservation and restoration programs these beautiful birds have come back from near extinction when their numbers were down to 21 in the 1940’s. The whooping crane is the tallest bird in North America. It stands 5 feet tall and has a wingspan of 7 1/2 feet. It looks down on most children.

A Whooping Crane takes off from the waters of Aransas bay.


We hired Aransas Bay Birding Charters (Captains Kevin and Lori Sims) to take us out into the bay where the whoopers were feeding on the marsh, and small islands. Their favorite meal – the blue crab:

A whooping crane snatches a blue crab from the waters of Aransas Bay.



Multiple Panel Running Start

The cranes often come to shore and hang out in residential backyards and fields along the waterfront. We were invited by Kevin and Lori to use their bird blind in their back field that they built expressly for the whoopers. What were the chances? We did not expect to see any whoopers in their back field. But after arriving just after sunrise and setting up in the blind, we were astonished to watch a whooper family of two adults and one juvenile, glide over the tree tops and land like gazelles in the field. I was awestruck as I photographed these beautiful creatures for the next hour.

Whooping Crane Family Over The Trees


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It’s been 6 years since my last (and first) visit to Aransas Bay to see the whooping cranes. It’s great to see that the cranes have increased in population since 2011 and that they are still migrating to Aransas National Wildlife Refuge for the winter from Wood Buffalo National Park, Canada.

For more whooping crane images see my website:

Whooping Crane Gallery

Be sure to read my previous post on whooping cranes.


As always, feedback and comments appreciated.





~ by richardseeley on May 10, 2017.

2 Responses to “Whooping Crane Family”

  1. Hi Rich,Very nice shots of the Whooping cranes. It’s great to see they have come back in increasing numbers. I’m not doing much shooting now because I had my first cataract surgery yesterday and will have the other eye done in two weeks.It will be a another month after that before I can get a new perscription for glasses. So that makes things a little hard to get used to.Plan to go to NY for Goldie’s  1st birthday on the 18th of June then will try to go to the cabin after that. If you guys are interested in coming down again for the rodeo let me know.Meanwhile happy shooting.Rod


  2. Très belles photos Rich ! C’est formidable que les grues reviennent en grand nombre.


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