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User / annkelliott
Anne Elliott / 18,259 items

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Yay, I have finally finished posting Whooping Crane photos! They are such special, ENDANGERED birds that I felt I should document them in reasonable detail. Also, I doubt I will ever get the chance to see them again. What an amazing, fascinating time we spent with them, especially this family of three. Thank you, Lori, captain of the Lady Lori boat, for this wonderful experience! Something that will never be forgotten.

What a wonderful family, with the youngster (colt) learning how to preen and how to catch food, especially from watching Dad. Our presence seemed to have zero affect on these Cranes, as they went about their daily routines. So neat to know that all these Whooping Cranes will fly north to Alberta, my own province, where they will spend the summer. Wise birds, avoiding our many months of brutal winter weather up north!

This is a Youtube video that shows the capture of a wild Whooping Crane adult and a tracking device being attached:

youtu.be/YtVt842trpo

"Before human interference, there were believed to be 15,000 to 20,000 whooping cranes, which fell to roughly 1,400 in 1860 and then plummeted to an all-time low of 15 birds in 1941. All signs pointed towards the end of the whooping crane.

The 15 surviving whooping cranes all belonged to one flock that migrated between Wood Buffalo National Park in Canada and the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in Texas. Conservationists worked with local, federal, and international governments to protect the flock and encourage breeding. Their efforts paid off slowly as the numbers reached 57 by 1970 and 214 by 2005."

www.nwf.org/Educational-Resources/Wildlife-Guide/Birds/Wh...

"Cellular Tracking Technologies is privileged to be working with the scientists employed by both the US and Canadian federal governments in the international team effort to monitor and protect the last remaining natural population of the Whooping Crane (Grus americana).

The so-called “Wood Buffalo-Aransas” population is the only remaining group of Whooping Cranes that has continued to nest, migrate, and overwinter in the traditional areas where they were first documented by Western ornithologists. The entire Whooping Crane species consists of only 437 wild individuals among four populations, three of which were artificially reared and reintroduced to the wild, plus 162 individuals in captivity (as of 2011). However, the only surviving remnant of the naturally-occurring Whooping Crane population is the Wood Buffalo-Aransas flock, consisting of only 283 individuals (as of the winter of 2011-12). This is the only group of Whooping Cranes that has managed to continually pass on the traditional ways of life of this species, in an unbroken chain of chick-rearing and parenting by birds that can live more than 30 years in the wild.

The vital nesting grounds lie in the vast Wood Buffalo National Park, the largest national park in Canada. The park is an immense area, a sprawling 17,300 square miles (44,807 km²), spanning northeastern Alberta into the southern Northwest Territories. Amazingly, Wood Buffalo National Park is larger than nine US states.

The equally vital wintering grounds lie in southern Texas, along the Gulf of Mexico. In winter, Whooping Cranes are seafood aficionados, preying on blue crabs and clams in the brackish Gulf Coast marshes. Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, near Rockport, TX, is one of the few areas of protected public property where people can reliably visit and expect to see these rare and special birds. This is also the exact area where Hurricane Harvey came ashore as a powerful Category 4 storm on 26 August 2017, with sustained winds of 130 mph (209 km/h). Hurricane Harvey went on to set records for both the astounding amounts of rainfall in the Houston metropolitan area, as well as the cost of the damage inflicted to human structures. The storm is currently tied with 2005’s Hurricane Katrina as the costliest tropical cyclone to hit the United States. Luckily, the Whooping Crane population was still up in Canada when the storm hit." From link below.

celltracktech.com/portfolio/whooping-cranes/

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This is a beautiful Amazon Lily that was in bloom in the old Conservatory at the Calgary Zoo. I love the way they hang their head : ) The Amazon Lily is a plant that belongs to the family Amaryllidaceae and it is native to Central and South America. The flowers have a beautiful scent.

Tags:   Calgary Alberta Canada Calgary Zoo Conservatory nature botany flora Tropical flower flowers Lily Amazon Lily Eucharis grandiflora Amaryllidaceae family white Panasonic DMC-FZ18 FZ18 Lumix P1260336 FZ18 annkelliott

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Decided to post this photo after all : ) Taken on a sunny, mid-February morning on a walk along the east side of the Bow River in SE Calgary. Actually, perhaps these Canada Geese have a little more "sense" than those humans who take part in a "Polar Plunge"!

Tags:   Calgary Alberta Canada south from Carburn Park east side of Bow River nature ornithology fauna avian bird birds Goose wildlife Canada Goose Branta canadensis water fowl common loyal seasons winter river water ice Geese image photograph digital horizontal color image outdoors several birds sunlight no people beauty in nature tranquil scene Panasonic DMC-FZ18 FZ18 Lumix P1480227 FZ18 annkelliott © Anne Elliott 2009 © All Rights Reserved

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Well, Happy Summer, everyone! Here in southern Alberta, we are under a Rainfall Warning and, sure enough, it is pouring with rain today. Now there is concern about flooding. Our temperature at noon is 9C (windchill 5C). From the Weather Network:

"A long episode of rain, at times heavy, continues. A low pressure system will continue to bring rain. Total rainfall amounts of 50 to 80 mm are expected with local accumulations possibly exceeding 100 in the Bow Valley region.

Rain in Calgary will vary significantly with this event. Reported rainfall amounts of 50 mm have occurred over the northwestern sections of the city while the southeast is closer to 10 mm. Rain continues over most of Calgary while the southeast is currently unlikely to see warning criteria rainfall with this event.

The heaviest rain will diminish early this afternoon while later this afternoon showers and thunderstorms will help add to the rainfall amounts that have already fallen.

Heavy downpours can cause flash floods and water pooling on roads. Localized flooding in low-lying areas is possible. Be prepared for possible winter conditions at higher elevations."

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As you can see, I have finally made a start on photos taken on DAY 9 of our 13-day birding trip to South Texas. I don't have a whole lot of images from this day and nothing too inspiring. If I can, I will edit and post as quickly as possible, as I need to finish this holiday's photos as soon as I can.

On Day 9, we had an early start from Mission, so caught the beautiful sunrise. Unfortunately, my photos had to be taken from back in the vehicle, and through the windshield. Poor quality, but posting for the memory.

The approximate distance between Mission and Brownsville, where we were heading, is 65.8 miles and travel time 1 hr 04 mins, travelling along US 83 and US 77. We stopped just before reaching Brownsville to visit the Resaca de la Palma State Park. This is where today's photos were taken.

"Resaca de la Palma State Park is one of three state parks belonging to the World Birding Center and managed by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. At 1,200 acres, Resaca de la Palma State Park is the largest of the World Birding Center sites and is located in Brownsville. The property was acquired by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in 1977 and was opened to the public in December 2008. A resaca is a type of oxbow lake that can be found in Texas, and is a former channel of the Rio Grande. It is naturally cut off from the river, having no inlet or outlet.

The World Birding Center is the official title given to a combined nine parks and nature preserves in the Rio Grande Valley region of Texas managed by a partnership of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the local communities in which the parks reside." From Wikipedia.


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