Views of the Neighborhood – Whooping Crane Festival

This weekend is the Annual Whooping Crane Festival here in Port Aransas. The Whooping Crane Festival celebrates the annual return of the cranes to their wintering habitat at the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. The Texas Coastal Bend is the only place where you can see the world’s last naturally occurring population of Whooping Cranes. From a low of 16 in the 1940s, the population is now 306. I hope you enjoy the photos. No, I didn’t get a shot of a Whooping Crane.

Port Aransas Whooping crane festival

Cars parked everywhere for the Festival headquarters and exhibition.

The Civic Center. In addition to boat tours and guided forays to the habitat, there is an exposition of all things birding.

Tables loaded with exciting things for birders.

Registration table.

Port Aransas display

Welcome sign and sponsors.

Udder-Balm has been around for ages. I did not expect to see it on display. We use it on Lucy’s nose to keep it from chapping.

Lots of information about birds and the environment.

The heart of every birder’s dream. A new and better way to see the birds.

We’re talking about some serious optics here.

I hope you enjoyed the tour of the exhibition.

Whooping Cranes

A shot of the cranes taken by Mike Sloat Photography.

71 comments

  1. It’s marvelous the number of whooping cranes has increased as it has. Good pictures, John. πŸ™‚ — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Suzanne.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a privilege, to be the wintering host of such an endangered species. Enjoy their presence, John, and good luck getting a decent picture before they head back to Canada.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Keith. To get a shot I would need a super big lens. Not anytime soon.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You mean they don’t come close and pose?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Nope. They learned a long time ago to avoid people like the plague.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Best defence strategy any creature can learn.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Gwen Plano · ·

    Port Aransas is an amazing locale, and the story of the Whooping Cranes is extraordinary. Thank you for sharing a photo journey with us. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for coming along. 😁

      Like

  4. As always, I’m jealous of your great hometown.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You live in a very close-knit and unique town, John.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m glad to hear the numbers are up. When do they pack up and head north? I love how you guys find things to celebrate.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We search hard for celebrations. This place is known as a drinking village with a fishing problem. I think they leave in early May.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. How wonder that the population has risen. I always love to see the celebrations in your town. Nice turnout! Thanks for sharing, John. Enjoy your Sunday!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You as well, Jill. Thank you. 😊

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  8. You do attend some lovely events, John.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Robbie. I enjoy this one each year.

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  9. This looks like such a charming festival, John. I’ve been enjoying the Sandhill Cranes here on the Gulf Coast. BIG birds, and more than a little intimidating to encounter on foot.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t seen many Sandhills around here. Mostly Blue herons and Spoonbills. Thanks, Lori.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Your neighbors really know ho w to appreciate their environment, don’t they, John?
    Thank you so much for sharing these glimpses into your world.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Always a pleasure, Hook. πŸ˜„ Thanks for the comment.

      Like

  11. What beautiful birds, I’m sure some of our bird watchers at camera club would have enjoyed the festival and especially the optical equipment!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Anyone remotely interested in birds would have enjoyed this festival. Thank you 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Omg I love this place…it’s a festival after festival lol here is not so much happening…we seldom see ppl on the street (or neighbors) πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

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    1. Lucky you.πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Your civic center has a way of staying busy. πŸ™‚ … cheers to an active community … and more cheers for Whooping Cranes!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes. They were almost goners for sure.

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  14. It’s refreshing when you can find a wildlife population that has INCREASED over time. It’s fairly uncommon any longer.

    And I dig that balm! It’s . . wait for it . . udderly fantastic.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OMG. Udderly fantastic. LOL.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hahahaha!
        I milked it for all it was worth . . .

        Liked by 1 person

  15. So very cool!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Kimberly.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Very cool that the population has grown so much. How often do you see them around?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hardly ever. They stay way out in the flats which are hard to reach. That is why they like it here.

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      1. Staying far away from society? I like the way these birds think.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. They finally got smart. (At least the last 14 got smart)

        Like

  17. What a great community you live in. There is always something going on. And to have a species increase their numbers is fantastic.

    You are going to miss some of this, I’m sure…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I will for sure.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. They are gorgeous birds, John. It looks like the event was a success. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was, Teagan. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. D.L Finn, Author · ·

    Looks like a fun event!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes it was, Denise. Thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Tell those cranes to relax and enjoy themselves. They do NOT want to head north.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yea given your shots today they should stay close.

      Like

  21. I love these nerdy festivals and single focuses; we had to employ a bat specialist to move the s.o.b. from a property we wanted to develop (all British bats are protected and you need a special licence to move them…) He was utterly dedicated to the little treasures and lived everything batty; I suspect he slept upside down. He should run a festival.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Might get one or two ding bats to show up.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’ll make everyone feel at home. Does dingbat have an alternate meaning your way for certain types of word puzzles?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Dingbat is a nutty older person

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  22. There seems to be something going on in Port Aransas every single week! The cranes are beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Michelle. There is a lot going on.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. I agree with the comment before mine: the cranes are beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. I laughed at the “udder balm.” We’ve never beenso sophisticated. We call it bag balm, and it’s still one of my go-tos, along with corn husker’s lotion. The festival’s great, but I confess I avoid such events like the plague. For one thing, I couldn’t come close to affording any of those lenses or spotting scopes, and I’d just end up envious and unhappy. Better to take a day or two and go in search of the birds themselves — for me. For your town? Bring on the birders!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is called Bag Balm. I think someone lifted the product and renamed it. I’m with you on the lenses. Better to go out looking for birds than to buy expensive things. πŸ˜€

      Like

  25. I’ve always wanted to see one, but don’t live in the right area. They have a reintroduced site these days to serve as insurance should disaster strike.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It does look like they are making a comback. Good to know there is backup.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. The optics look very serious. It must be thrilling to see a whooping crane.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it must be. I saw two last year from about 1000 yards and kept oooohing

      Liked by 1 person

      1. How wonderful!

        Like

  27. Always something going on in your neck of the woods, John. My dad is kind of a birder, but just to the extent of watching and identifying the birds in his backyard visiting the feeder, lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That can be fun too. Thanks, Teri.

      Liked by 1 person

  28. Nice! Thanks for sharing, John!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jan πŸ˜€

      Like

  29. There’s certainly never a lack of things to do and see in your town. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So true, Rhonda. Thank you

      Like

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