Breakfast with the Birds

By Linsey Thut | January 22, 2016

We recently joined Captain Tommy Moore on another Whooping Crane Tour in Rockport-Fulton and it was a blast. We scored fantastic pictures of some of the rarest birds in the world as they dove for their breakfasts and enjoyed that good ol’ Texas scenery.

Our tour pulled out of Fulton Harbor at 7:30 a.m., so we were up very early. But you know what they say: the early bird gets…well, erm, pictures of the birds. Yet, somehow all our morning grumbles left our minds as we watched this breathtaking sunrise before boarding the boat.

Sunset

It was chilly and windy, but thankfully each boat is stocked with coffee, hot cocoa and thick blankets to keep birders toasty warm during the 30 minute float out into the Aransas Bay.

As we arrived at the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, we could spot majestic birds soaring left and right. We watched silently as birds from everyday seagulls to bizarre beauties like the Roseate Spoonbill feasted on their breakfast of Blue Crabs.

seagulls

As the boat pulled up close to the scattered flocks of birds, birding experts and novices alike were able to get amazing pictures and catch a glimpse into the birds’ natural habitat.  It was insane how close we were to this Brown Pelican! He was surveying the water for his fishy breakfast.

brown pelican

We saw these American White Pelicans surrounded with Double-Crested Cormorants. Those two often stick together because Pelicans try to steal food off of the Cormorants. Pick on someone your own size, Pelicans!

Comorants

Finally, we came across the majestic Whooping Cranes. Each winter they fly down from Northern Alberta, Canada to the Texas Coast.

flying whoopers

It’s was mind-blowing to see them knowing that these guys are the only wild migrating flock of Whoopers in the world. Captain Tommy pointed out that the Whoopers with red heads are actually babies.

baby whoopers

At the end of the tour, even if some of our pictures were blurry because birds never truly pose for pictures, we had an amazing time. We came away with an even greater appreciation for the colorful and exotic wildlife that lives under our big Texas sky.

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