Friday, December 7, 2012

Endangered Whooping Cranes Stop in Central Texas

Central Texas Birdwatchers and Naturalists are again trekking to Lake Granger in Central Texas to view the rare and endangered Whooping Crane. What makes this such a unique opportunity is that the birds normally spend winters along the Texas Coast near Aransas National Wildlife Refuge hundreds of miles to the south. After migrating from their summer grounds in Canada two family groups have decided to spend some time here in Central Texas. Each group consists of two adults and one juvenile crane. Instead of dining on crabs and shrimp these birds are acquiring a taste for freshwater mussels, snails, insects, frogs and grains left behind in local farmer’s fields.

                       Juvenile and adult Whooping Crane

These birds may just be here for a while and then move on down to the wintering grounds on the coast or they might just make this their winter home. If you plan on seeing the birds remember they are protected as an endangered species and must not be harassed or disturbed. Be sure and take a spotting scope or good binoculars to get a good look from a distance. I kind of hope they stay around and establish some Central Texas flocks. You never want to have all your eggs in one basket anyway, Wild Ed

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