Whoop Whoop Whoop

So how’s everyone doing out there today?  Will it make you feel better if I tell you this is the last post in the first International Crane Foundation series?  Although if you are a birder you might be saddened thinking this might be the last of the bird posts for awhile.  If you are in the latter, no worries.  The Denver trip produced at least 6 new checks on the bird list and thinking at this moment of jumping to the back of the queue and processing them so I can claim the full check.  I feel a little embarrassed when I tell people there are only 70 some birds on my life list – keep in mind that means photographed and blogged on so far.  Hoping to be over a hundred by the end of the year.  A few more trips like Denver’s and I’ll be in good shape.

Truth be told this post is somewhat bittersweet.  I do like Cranes (as noted by my brother Ron) so knowing this is the last of the First Series is a little sad.  On the sweet side, I purposely saved the best for last – this bird is in the top echelon of my favorite birds.

The title should have given it away, but this is indeed a Whooping Crane.  One of two Linda and I spent a healthy amount of time photographing on our first trip to the International Crane Foundation.  Unlike the previous post that talked about the issues with fences, these Whoopers live in the nicest habitat they have complete with natural enclosures and a pond that comes up right alongside the viewing area.  There is also elevated bench seating for visitors to sit back, relax in the shade and listen to the ranger educate them on this wonderful bird.

We are generally there early in the season giving us the entire area to ourselves.  No problem setting up the tripod wherever we want, right up to the waters’ edge.  A fantastic experience for any bird photographer – even ones that claim they are not bird photographers ….like my wife  who on the contrary has been upping the competition as of late.  Every time we have been there, we’ve been able to witness two of the resident Whooping Cranes.  I can’t say for sure it has been the same couple all those years, but they are pretty oblivious to our presence and mirror slaps.  Calm birds and nice settings – what more can you ask for (well, if you insist, could have used some overcast that day to help cut down on the harshness of the sun).

Hit the jump to see and read more about the Whooping Crane!

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