Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Whooping Cranes

This past Sunday, I met my birding buddy & friend, Guy Wapple at Muskiki Lake for some Whooping Crane (Grus americana) viewing.

We were fortunate in that 4 of the reported 16-17 Whoopers were relatively close to the road into the area.  This is all private land; the farmers are indulgent of birders coming to look.  We stay on the road and try not to bother these fantastically beautiful and very endangered birds.

In total, we counted 16 adults and 1 juvenile.  The rest of the flock were farther away grazing around a small slough - good viewing with scope or bins, but too far for my camera lens.  Sad that there was only one young bird in this group.

These Whoopers are part of the only wild, self-sustaining flock that summers & breeds in Wood Buffalo National Park, which spans the Northern Alberta and North West Territories border.  Muskiki Lake is in South-Central Saskatchewan, about an hour's drive east of Saskatoon.  Depending on the weather, these birds might stay around the area for another week or so.  They will winter at Aransas NWR in Texas.

This day we were thrilled to watch the big white birds walk and graze; a few hopped and danced a little bit.  We also heard the 'whoops' and watched them in flight.  

Saskatchewan Birding at its Finest.


  1. Oh, Kathy your photos make me so jealous, I wish I could have gone with you!

    1. It really is such a privilege to be able to see these wonderful birds every year. And I wish you could have been there, too.