Port  A Whooping Crane Festival Offers Great Chance for Viewing


Logan Hawkes


The Coastal Bend winter season is special in many ways, not the least of which because it provides the rare chance of seeing an endangered Whooping Crane in the wild.


This noble and endangered species, native to North America, winters along the Texas Gulf Coast, their largest numbers frequenting the wetlands of Aransas National Wildlife Refuge just north of Rockport Fulton.


But because the areas where most Whoopers hang out is difficult or in some cases impossible to reach, viewing becomes challenging. Seeing these giant birds - that stand about 5 feet tall - at a distance is a rare treat. But to see them up close is truly an amazing experience.


A couple of years back and quite by accident my family and I stumbled upon one of the majestic birds sunning on the beach at Port Aransas. I had heard of the popular Port Aransas Whooping Crane Festival but had never attended.


It was an amazing experience seeing the great bird up close in the wild. Unfortunately, it one of those rare occasion when I did not have my camera nearby.


But here is the good news for those of you wishing you also could see one of these wonderful creatures up close and personal in the wild. Make plans now to attend the Port A festival in February as I believe it offers you the best oppurtunity to get close to a Whooper in the wild.


But do yourself a favor, don't forget your camera.


In addition to the Whooping Crane, an awesome array of wintering migratory birds flock into the wetlands and onto the Texas shorelines of Mustang Island in and around Port Aransas. Birding tours by land and sea are highlights during the festival, which will be held in 2016 on February 25 – 28. Get the full lowdown here.