Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Endangered Whooping Cranes

I feel very honored to have been able to observe,
for the very first time, two Whooping Cranes,
(Grus americana), feeding in a meadow.

My photos are not wonderful, as they were some distance away.
Yes, a feeding station has been set up for them.
You can see the legs of the feeder on the left.
They need every advantage!!
But to me, they are beautiful pictures.
You see, Whooping Cranes have been on the endangered
species list since June of 1970.
In the 1930's, their population was down to just 18 birds.
I believe there only around 350 wild cranes to date.
With the direction that 'development' is taking,
we'll see more endangered birds and animals in our lifetime.
These beautiful, majestic birds stand almost 5 feet tall,
and are the largest birds in North America, with a wingspan of 7.5 feet.
I borrowed this image from the State of TX site so you could have a better look.
Each link I am providing will take you to a different site about Whooping Cranes.

This image is borrowed from
Perhaps you remember seeing news stories and video of
conservationists assisting first year birds during migration
through the use of ultralight aircraft.
I think there is even a movie about it.
Here's one video of many.

Please take the time to visit the links provided for more information.
Their plight is a fascinating story.
I'd like to thank my daughter, from the bottom of my heart.
She went out of her way to drive 3 hours to the coast,
so I could see these birds.
(Remember the 'bug in my ear' story? THAT day!!)

(I think I'm linked to Wild Bird Wednesday)


john bord said...

When I lived in New Mexico, I got to see them during migration. They along with the sandhill cranes are neat birds to watch.

TexWisGirl said...

just awesome! i used to be able to see sandhills in wisconsin (there's a preserve near where i grew up). haven't seen any since living in texas.

Stephanie said...

Building on natural habitats of animals is what also causing coyotes and mountain lions to venture into housing developments. Where I live deer come right into the front yards. They're getting squeezed out from all of the building. I didn't realized these glorious birds were down to such a precious few. Glad their birding friends are giving them a helping hand.

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

that's awesome - so glad you got to see them :)

Gary said...

Great shots!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Christian Weiß said...

Nice photos and interesting birds.

Bob Bushell said...

Great shots of the Whooping Cranes, and the story about them Karen.

Sondra said...

A bird I cant wait to see for myself someday! SO Happy you got your shot at seeing them and some great photos TO BOOT!!

Fiona said...

How special.. and they are beautiful...

Kay L. Davies said...

How wonderful for you to have seen them. Bless your daughter!
I've been hearing about endangered whooping cranes since the early 1950s, when their numbers were still very, very small. 200 doesn't seem like much of an improvement over more than half a century, but at least they are there, and haven't gone the way of the passenger pigeon and many others.

Linda Reeder said...

I didn't know they were still that few in number. It's wonderful that you got to see them!

Just Ramblin' said...

Great Pictures! I'm so glad you could make the three hour drive and see these magnificent birds. So sweet of your daughter to take you. A once in a lifetime experience, I'm sure. I didn't realize they stood that tall. Thanks for sharing. Nola

grammie g said...

HI Karen...That is a big bird wow..5ft tall that's a bird on stilts : )
Great information and so glad you got to see, and get some shots of them !!

Stewart M said...

Its good to hear a success story from the world of endangered birds!

Welcome to WBW!

Cheers and thanks for linking - Stewart M - Melbourne

Terry said...

What beautiful birds! :0)

Carrie P. said...

So exciting you got to see the birds. I had no idea they were endangered. There are probably a lot more birds and animals on the endangered list I don't know about. Thanks for sharing.

Linda said...

I didn't realize they were still endangered. I see cranes all the time at my pond in my backyard but they aren't this big. These look like B52 bombers coming in for a landing when I see them. I don't know what kind they are but they are only about 3-4 feet tall but they are wonderful to watch. It is so exciting to watch birds. We have feeders in the backyard for small birds and birdbaths too and we have droves come to us..It's pretty amazing to watch. Thanks for posting the info and links, I'll check them out.

Linda said...

After looking at the websites,I do believe these are whooping cranes that I'm seeing. I didn't know they were endangered like they are. I'm going to really be watching for these now and I'll let you know when I see them again and I'll try to get pictures. Thanks for making me aware...

thewovenspoke said...

Karen those are awesome birds and it is neat that you get to view them and share.

P.s. I m following you too.

Mrs. Goodneedle said...

Wow! Absolutely AWESOME!

Lesley said...

You have a wonderful daughter! So glad that you were able to observe such a tremendous sight.I am always well educated when I read your posts, but sure hope there is a little quilting being done as well as birding...giggle!

Marlo RepurposeMyLife said...

WOW! How fortunate of you. I am very envious. I love cranes and these are absolutely amazing. What a great experience!

Cindy said...

Way cool !!