Kevin Sims, Jack Flash boat captain is on the water around Aransas National Wildlife Refuge about every day, weather permitting. He takes some interesting photos and sends them to Friends of the Wild Whoopers, (FOTWW )so we can share them with our web page and Facebook page viewers. Kevin often includes his written observations as you can read in the following photo essay. FOTWW wants to thank Kevin for all of his photos and reports.
This is the Ayers Island Twins. (My name for them) They appear to me to be losing the Juvenile colors very quickly. I will do my best to keep you updated on them as the season progresses this image is from 12/5/14.
This is a Family with a colt that has been too far away to photograph until today. If they had only chosen a territory a mile to the north they would be visible from the observation tower at the Aransas Wildlife Refuge.
I named this one “In Step” This family is located about three miles south of the visitors center on the Aransas Refuge. So far we have accounted for 14 of this years colts.
This is the Lobstick Territory twins. I (my name for them because they have breakfast on the Lobstick Territory every morning.) They don’t seem to be losing their color as quickly as the Ayers Island Twins. They are still feeding in the middle of the territory where the ponds are not as deep.
As you can see from this image the Whoopers are less territorial than in years past. My (unscientific) reason for this is the controlled burns. We often observe as many as 25 Whoopers feeding on a burn site. It seems to me that after they feed on the burns they have become less territorial. Just a few years ago you would see that a family would not tolerate another Whooper in their territory much less two or three additional Whoopers.
***** FOTWW’s mission is to help preserve and protect the Aransas/Wood Buffalo
population of wild whooping cranes and their habitat. *****
Friends of the Wild Whoopers is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization.