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Old 01-17-2021, 06:02 AM   #1
Bill M
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Default Annual Whooping Crane boat tour

I normally take a boat tour along the intercoastal waterway at the Aransas NWR to photograph the endangered whooping cranes. A few shots from this years trip. Full gallery is here. Lots of photos in the gallery.

From wiki

The whooping crane (Grus americana), the tallest North American bird, is an endangered crane species named for its whooping sound. Along with the sandhill crane, it is one of only two crane species found in North America. The whooping crane's lifespan is estimated to be 22 to 24 years in the wild. After being pushed to the brink of extinction by unregulated hunting and loss of habitat to just 21 wild and two captive whooping cranes by 1941, conservation efforts have led to a limited recovery.[2] The total number of cranes in the surviving migratory population, plus three reintroduced flocks and in captivity, now exceeds 800 birds.



Flight sequence begins with signaling which is an unmistakable sound. They were going to tend to a third crane that had come into their territory a couple hundred yards down the island.






Taxi

















Last edited by Bill M; 01-17-2021 at 06:16 AM.
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Old 01-17-2021, 06:10 AM   #2
Bill M
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They eat about 80 blue crab a day.



















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Old 01-17-2021, 06:14 AM   #3
Bill M
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Last morning there, I caught these two out on a sand flat in St. Charles Bay. Early morning as you tell by the light. I have never seen any on the bay side along Lamar Beach Rd. Had to cut our trip short due to impending snow coming.












Last edited by Bill M; 01-17-2021 at 06:18 AM.
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Old 01-17-2021, 06:29 AM   #4
cva34
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Wow thats a success story!!! Wish they could get they could get a handle on the Prairie Chicken I know they trying!!
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Old 01-17-2021, 06:38 AM   #5
Bill M
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cva34 View Post
Wow thats a success story!!! Wish they could get they could get a handle on the Prairie Chicken I know they trying!!

It really is, hope it continues. They have a decent population currently on the Attwater Prairie Chicken NWR. They are being seen on a regular basis this past year. I got these back in May. https://discussions.texasbowhunter.c...d.php?t=774038


Thanks for looking.
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Old 01-17-2021, 09:00 AM   #6
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Great pics sir! We did that trip for the first time this year, Santa gave it to the family! We thoroughly enjoyed it and will do it again for sure. Thanks for sharing, it is a great story of success in wildlife preservation.
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Old 01-17-2021, 09:05 AM   #7
kae006
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Awesome photos. Is that 80 crabs/day per bird?! Seems like a heck of an appetite.


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Old 01-17-2021, 09:23 AM   #8
justindfw
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Those pics with the crabs are pretty dang cool
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Old 01-17-2021, 10:04 AM   #9
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Awesome pictures!
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Old 01-17-2021, 10:21 AM   #10
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Thatís awesome! We saw 4 down there a couple weeks ago! 2 hung out in the canal behind the blind eating crabs I guess! Awesome pics.
! The crab and the beach ones are great!!
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Old 01-17-2021, 10:32 AM   #11
Bill M
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Thanks again for the comments everyone. Appreciated.



Quote:
Originally Posted by kae006 View Post
Awesome photos. Is that 80 crabs/day per bird?! Seems like a heck of an appetite.


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5 ft tall bird with a 7 ft wingspan burns alot of energy I suppose. They are constantly moving.


Quote:
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Great pics sir! We did that trip for the first time this year, Santa gave it to the family! We thoroughly enjoyed it and will do it again for sure. Thanks for sharing, it is a great story of success in wildlife preservation.

Big or smaller boat? I've been on the big one out of Fulton Harbor once but normally go on the smaller boat with only 3 other people on board.
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Old 01-17-2021, 10:36 AM   #12
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Awesome Pictures, thanks for sharing!
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Old 01-17-2021, 10:38 AM   #13
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Outstanding!!!
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Old 01-17-2021, 01:38 PM   #14
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Big or smaller boat? I've been on the big one out of Fulton Harbor once but normally go on the smaller boat with only 3 other people on board.[/QUOTE]

We went with Kevin in one of the smaller boats with only 4 of us. It was great, been wanting to do it for years, but had to put it on hold for 8 years while we were in Illinois. Now that we are back in Texas it was a must do!!
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Old 01-17-2021, 01:59 PM   #15
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Great pictures!
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Old 01-17-2021, 02:12 PM   #16
DaddyO
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i did my 10th grade Biology project on whooping cranes in 1983...if I remember correctly there were 72-74 in wild at that time and I got a C on the project.
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Old 01-17-2021, 02:35 PM   #17
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Thanks for sharing the great pictures!


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Old 01-17-2021, 03:31 PM   #18
Bill M
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TKRanch View Post
Big or smaller boat? I've been on the big one out of Fulton Harbor once but normally go on the smaller boat with only 3 other people on board.
We went with Kevin in one of the smaller boats with only 4 of us. It was great, been wanting to do it for years, but had to put it on hold for 8 years while we were in Illinois. Now that we are back in Texas it was a must do!![/QUOTE]


Cool! The Sims' are good people. This was my first time to go with Lori, been with Kevin about 3 times now I think.
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Old 01-21-2021, 11:45 AM   #19
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Awesome pics! Have a pair that have been hanging around some of my goose hunting properties for the past 10 or so years. Some times they have an offspring with them. This year it was just the 2 of them.
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Old 01-22-2021, 08:47 AM   #20
Bill M
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Awesome pics! Have a pair that have been hanging around some of my goose hunting properties for the past 10 or so years. Some times they have an offspring with them. This year it was just the 2 of them.
Thanks! Are you seeing them in Chambers Co. by chance?
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Old 01-22-2021, 08:52 AM   #21
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now, i know where my crabs in Copano Bay go
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Old 01-22-2021, 08:55 AM   #22
Bill M
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now, i know where my crabs in Copano Bay go

Do you see them on Copano Bay?
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Old 01-22-2021, 09:20 AM   #23
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love these pics! super cool
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Old 01-23-2021, 04:44 PM   #24
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Quote:
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Thanks! Are you seeing them in Chambers Co. by chance?
Wharton and Colorado Counties. I saw 3 today in a rice field by one of my leases.
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Old 01-24-2021, 06:42 AM   #25
Bill M
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcphilpott View Post
love these pics! super cool

Thanks!


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Wharton and Colorado Counties. I saw 3 today in a rice field by one of my leases.

I know someone photographed them in the Bay City/Matagorda area quite a bit last year. They are cool to see.
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Old 01-24-2021, 06:50 AM   #26
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very nice pics. Thx for sharing
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Old 01-28-2021, 07:19 PM   #27
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Great pics of an awesome subject. The flight take off series from standing to taxi to flight is outstanding. Thanks for posting.
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Old 01-29-2021, 09:28 AM   #28
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Pretty cool birds. I saw 3 in a rice field this past Saturday in Chambers County down the road from where we duck hunt.
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Old 01-29-2021, 12:43 PM   #29
Bill M
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Thanks again.



Quote:
Originally Posted by 3ChordTruth View Post
Great pics of an awesome subject. The flight take off series from standing to taxi to flight is outstanding. Thanks for posting.
Thanks. I really liked that sequence also. They start signalling their intent so you just have to be ready.


Quote:
Originally Posted by gander View Post
Pretty cool birds. I saw 3 in a rice field this past Saturday in Chambers County down the road from where we duck hunt.
There were a pair of them over there last year. I wonder if they have a colt this year. Any orange color on one of them?
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Old 02-01-2021, 11:47 AM   #30
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Quote:
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Thanks again.




Thanks. I really liked that sequence also. They start signalling their intent so you just have to be ready.



There were a pair of them over there last year. I wonder if they have a colt this year. Any orange color on one of them?
I didn't even stop and look at them very hard. Two of them were standing about 30 yards off the road on 1663 and the 3rd was in the same field about 75-100 yards further in.
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Old 02-01-2021, 12:41 PM   #31
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great photos
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Old 02-01-2021, 01:29 PM   #32
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Great pictures!!
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Old 02-02-2021, 06:06 AM   #33
Bill M
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Thanks again!



Quote:
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I didn't even stop and look at them very hard. Two of them were standing about 30 yards off the road on 1663 and the 3rd was in the same field about 75-100 yards further in.

I have since learned these are part of the non-migrating Louisiana population located in SW LA which would make sense.
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Old 02-04-2021, 06:41 PM   #34
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Nice!
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Old 02-04-2021, 07:04 PM   #35
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Quote:
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Thanks! Are you seeing them in Chambers Co. by chance?
There are 2 in chambers county right now. Same fields every year. Occasionally 3 but 2 for sure every year. Winnie area.

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Old 02-11-2021, 11:54 AM   #36
Bill M
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There are 2 in chambers county right now. Same fields every year. Occasionally 3 but 2 for sure every year. Winnie area.

Sent from my motorola one 5G UW using Tapatalk

Some folks are seeing three at times. Part of the Louisiana resident non-migrating birds.
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Old 02-11-2021, 11:56 AM   #37
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Quote:
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Some folks are seeing three at times. Part of the Louisiana resident non-migrating birds.
Yes I am sure there are several in the county. I am only speaking of the two by my house.

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Old 02-11-2021, 02:27 PM   #38
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Saw 2 on Monday in same field that I seen 3 in a couple weeks ago. One of them had a orange leg marker/band on it.
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Old 02-14-2021, 11:29 AM   #39
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We fished out of Seadrift last Monday and saw several pairs that day, good to see them slowly making a comeback.

Anyone know if this severe freeze will have an impact on them?
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Old 02-14-2021, 06:56 PM   #40
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Great pictures
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Old 02-18-2021, 08:16 PM   #41
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Super cool. It always amazes me how large they are when you see them standing next to a deer feeder or other known size reference.
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Old 03-07-2021, 08:52 AM   #42
Luis Ramirez
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Phenomenal
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Old 03-08-2021, 11:50 AM   #43
Bill M
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Thanks.
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Old 03-29-2021, 02:18 PM   #44
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Awesome pictures!
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