At Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in the winter a person normally sees a family of Whooping Cranes together, which would be parents and the immature crane, who is brownish. However these pictures were taken in 2011 when Texas suffered a severe drought. The Refuge had a controlled burn to help spring-time grass grow better, so the whoopers discovered food there instead of the small crabs they prefer. These giant birds are 52″ tall and have a wingspan of 87″.
Sandhill Cranes winter along the Texas Coast and the pictures below were taken on West Galveston Island. Sandhills are smaller than whoopers, with Lesser Sandhills being 41″ with wingspans of 73″, while Greater Cranes are 46″ with a 77″ wingspan Continue reading