Thank you, whooping cranes
Mission-Aransas Reserve visitors, volunteers, and staff all report: we love whooping cranes!
Many visitors consider a whooping crane sighting the highlight of their trip to the Mission-Aransas Reserve. These enormous birds, which stand five feet tall when fully grown, are the rarest of all cranes—and the Mission-Aransas Reserve is their only winter home in North America. Much to the joy of self-described ”crane-iacs,” sightings around the Reserve are becoming more common thanks to dedicated conservation efforts.
The growing presence of whooping cranes inspires local citizen groups to host whooping crane festivals and events that celebrate the arrival of these magnificent creatures every year. Whooping cranes spend each winter and spring at the Reserve after travelling 2,500 miles from their summer nesting grounds in Canada.
Seeing whooping cranes thrive on the Mission-Aransas estuary was not always a given. Their increasing numbers in the Coastal Bend in recent years are the result of decades of dedicated conservation, science, and education. We know that when we see whooping cranes, we are also seeing a marsh healthy enough to support and protect them.
Thank you, whooping cranes! You inspire us to keep working to protect what is precious to both our natural and human communities.