Whooping cranes dance for different reasons and are well known for their courting dances. People may think that they only dance during the courting season but researchers believe that they dance at other times and for other reasons as well. If they are a mating pair, they dance to strengthen their bond with their mate, they may dance to let off tension and relax, or just for the fun of it because they’re happy. Young whooping cranes may join in on the dance and it may help strengthen their motor skills while other cranes watching may spontaneously join in the dance.
The dance may be characterize by the male fully extending his wings while bowing and raising his head to impress the onlooking female. He leaps high into the air, executing a half turn before landing and continues he body bobbing and leaping. If the female is interested, she will show her interest by joining the male and leaping into the air too. The two of them will continue this ballet and almost as suddenly as it began, the dance is over.
Last week while out on the waters around Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, boat captain and FOTWW roving reporter, Kevin Sims was able to witness a pair of whooping cranes performing their spectacular dance. He was able to snap some photos of the pair and sent them to us. We have taken his photos and created a slide show for your viewing pleasure. FOTWW thanks Kevin for sharing his photos with us and we hope that you enjoy them.
***** 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.