Near the end of January, Whooping Cranes and their accompanying Ultralights, flew into the Dunnellon/Ocala, Florida area from way up north. I’ve been trying to find a time to make the trip up there and try to spot them. I haven’t heard any spotting activity and was hoping for some before making the long drive. But now it seems they’re coming this way.
On February 22nd I read a report, through the SRQ bird alert that I receive daily, that two whooping cranes were spotted heading toward Carlton Reserve. They were seen just north of 681 in the I-75 vacinity. Rt 681 is south of Clark Road. The report said ” they were flying quite low — treetop level — northward just west of I-75 over a cow pasture that lies between the interstate and Thaxton Preserve, north of 681.”
Then I read another report on February 24th which stated that whooping cranes were spotting flying near I-75 & Jacarand Blvd., which is near Venice, FL.
I’m hoping that this pair will find a nesting area;one that I can get to. I’d love to see a whooping crane again. Before we moved from Houston, TX to Sarasota, we took a trip to Aransas, TX, winter home of the whooping crane. Before we got there I saw one. We were soon to arrive and in the median of the highway was a whooping crane. It took off in front of us, but thankfully not close enough for us to hit it with the car. It was beautiful. I was hoping to get a picture of a whooping crane on the trip. We never saw another the whole weekend, but I have a great memory of the one I did see.
For more information about bringing the whooping crane to Florida go to http://www.bringbackthecranes.org/.