I didn’t have my camera so I don’t have a picture but yesterday while walking the dogs we saw a flock of about 30 adult whooping cranes mixed with some vultures a level below and a few pelicans as well, riding the thermals and soaring around high above us. We are very close to the St Mark’s refuge where they overwinter and they tend to spread out past the refuge. Shortly after I got a message from the whopping crane caretakers saying they had arrived with the youngsters. The eastern flock has about 100 individuals, maybe a few more more.
The world is not such a bad place when whooping cranes can be brought back from the edge of extinction by some dedicated people. However our host has since told us that you don’t see whopping cranes in such numbers in Florida and what we were actually seeing was more likely to have been wood storks.
This is a wood stork.
It is Not my picture. But this is about what we saw except they were going around in a giant circle. So we saw a large white bird with black wingtips, either a stork or a whooping crane. In any case it was lovely and thrill to see..
Pic from Whooping Crane flock, Lake Waco, McLennan County, TX, November 14, 2013. Photo by Martin Kemper.