Whooping cranes are elusive and endangered. There are only about 600 in the wild, according to The Cornell Lab of Ornithology. It just so happens that a number of them winter near Rockport, Texas.
Captain Kevin Sims with Aransas Bay Birding Charters regularly takes photographers very close to the whoopers. Hugh boarded the Jack Flash with high hopes early one cold, overcast morning in February.
Captain Kevin did his best, hitting all of the usual spots, but without much luck. Just when he was about to give up, Dad spotted a pair of cranes near the Intracoastal Waterway. One was preening and the other eating blue crabs. Despite a long day on the water, the day was a success after all because Dad got his photos.