Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #46 – Delicate

As many as 1,400 whooping cranes migrated across North America in the mid-1800s, by the late 1930s, the Aransas population was down to just 18 birds.

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service estimated the population of whooping cranes is at 505 in 2017.

They are 4 ft 1 inch to 5 ft 3 inch in heights. It is the tallest North American bird. They mate for life, but will accept a new mate if one dies.

Their diet consists of blue crabs, clams, frogs, minnows, rodents, small birds, and berries. These long-lived birds can live up to 24 years in the wild.

This crab looks too big for Mr. W to chew. 🙂

They migrate more than 2,400 miles a year, from Canada to Texas’ coastal plains in and around Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. They stay here from November through March, according to Texas Park and Wildlife. 

The Aransas National Wildlife Refuge is one of their favorite places. The wildlife refuge makes sure whooping cranes are  happy during their 5-month staying.

Their beautiful black wing tips are only visible when fly.

It was a chilly morning, we were there 3 hours on a small boat. The captain handed me a couple of hand warmers so I could keep clicking. Finally we got a few shots of these cranes in flight.


Whooping cranes are still one of the rarest birds in North America.

Ann Christine hosts this week’s L-A theme. She offers us an array of opportunities to interpret “delicate”. Take a look of her beautiful post, both in photos and words. Hope you’ll join us.

I will be hosting next week’s L-A Photo Challenge #47.

85 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Weekly Photo Challenge #46 – Delicate

  1. Perfect for the theme Amy. These are truly graceful and delicate as they do their air dance. Good news that the numbers are on the rise. Wonderful to see your posts again. Happy Sunday to you.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. They are beautiful birds and well worth your cold hands to capture these awesome shots. I particularly like the last photo of the three birds flying off together. 🙂
    It’s great that their numbers are slowly increasing again. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Wonderful post, Amy, on birds I’ve never seen in the wild. I love their black-tipped wings. So beautiful. And you’ve captured them so well. Great photography. It’s hard to capture animals in the wild in most situations and you did it with fingers that were nearly frozen!

    Liked by 2 people

    • So glad you enjoyed this series, Patti. They are beautiful and graceful in water and in flight. The boat took off at 6 am when it was still pretty dark and very cold. The hand warmer helped so much. 🙂


  4. Amy, stunning images …. I have never seen them in the wild neither, even we have a fantastic Crane Migration every spring here in Sweden. we had about 20000 in April this year and about 150000visitor every year.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I love when commentary helps me enjoy and understand photos better. I knew nothing about these birds, so it’s such a joy to learn. And I really do admire your patience!! We have a nearby gannet colony and though I love going there, I do get bored pretty quickly.

        Liked by 1 person

    • It is encouraging to see the increasing numbers. The refuge has done a great job to keep these crane happy. Pesticide is one of the factors that put species at risk.


  5. Pingback: Lens-Artist-PC-46-Delicate – WoollyMuses

  6. Wow, this is quite an extravaganza of whooping cranes, Amy. My first whooping crane, which I was completely ecstatic about given their rarity, was through a scope and the bird was so far away it was the size of a dime even in the scope. So what you have here at Aransas is truly extraordinary. Fantastic photos, rare experience. And the size of that crab is amazing too! Thanks so much.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m so happy I had a chance to share the photos with you, Jet. I know your passion for many birds and creatures. They love crabs! I was glad to captured them in flight.

      Liked by 1 person

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