PHOTOGRAPH THE SPECTACULAR WHOOPING CRANES BY BOAT:

REVIEW TOUR DISCOUNTS BELOW:  A $100 Deposit is Required to Reserve your Spot!

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10% Discount is offered to all Active Military and Disabled Veterans.

Book more than one day consecutively, and receive a $25 Discount each day (All tours apply except Fishing Trips.)

Share-A-Trip Discount and Save $$!  When you share a trip with others of like interest, cost is $112.50/person. (Limit 4 per tour.)

Book Online, Call 361-790-3746 to reserve, or Send us an e-mail if you need help or info!

Visit our FAQs & Info page for location map and directions to marina, deposits and cancellation policy.  You’ll also find general tour information!

 

ABOUT YOUR TRIP TO SEE AND PHOTOGRAPH THE SPECTACULAR WHOOPING CRANES:

Our tours are designed to accommodate your individual needs. The trip will last four to six hours depending on how long you want to stay out. You won’t be on the boats schedule you will be on your schedule.

The shallow draft of our boat allows us to get into areas that larger boats are not able to. This also allows us to get in close to the birds. We will also be able to tour some of the back lakes and bays that are much to shallow for large boats.

Your tour will start at the Sea Gun Marina then navigate into Aransas Bay and pass the Goose Island State Park. We will then travel along the South shoreline of the Aransas Wildlife Refuge to the Intercoastal Waterway. Once in the Intercoastal we will enter the main body of the Refuge. There are many opportunities to photograph Whooping Cranes as well as shore birds along the intercoastal. Your tour will take you North on the Intercoastal along the Refuge and into San Antonio Bay to the North end of the Refuge.

This is the turning point of the tour. We won’t simply turn and take you home from there. We will continue to look for birding opportunities. We can enter San Antonio, Ayres and Mesquite bays to check out the lakes and reefs for feeding birds. We will the return home through Carlos Bay where we will check out reefs and some small islands. In San Antonio Bay and Carlos Bay, there are the Rookery Islands. On these islands there are many species building nest, laying eggs, and hatching chicks. These Rookeries are only active in the Spring and Early Summer.

We provide soft drinks, and bottled water. Feel free to bring whatever you wish to drink and eat. There is a bathroom on board for your use.  Maximum of 6 people.

 

 

HELPFUL INFO ABOUT WHOOPING CRANES – LINKS AND RESOURCES:

The only remaining wild flock of Whooping Cranes has increased in number from an all time low of 17 birds to now approaching 400 in the Wood Buffalo flock. They were hunted for their feathers, and at one point, an ounce of their feathers was worth more than an ounce of gold – hard to believe, but true.  The Whooping Cranes also face a number of other obstacles: power lines cause them great injury and death on an increasing rate unfortunately, substantial decreases to their habitats (along their migration routes) impose obstacles to their food supply, and the quality of the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge water can also be very harmful to the delicate eco-system that supports the “blue crabs”, one of their favorite foods (Please visit The Aransas Project to learn about ongoing efforts to keep the water safe for all living things.)  Another threat is the water quality of the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. The senseless act of shooting these birds when hunters think they are Sandhill Cranes, is illegal and punishable by law.  Their conservation efforts are many and require constant dedication in order to succeed.   Much thanks extended to the ongoing commitment from non-profit organizations like the Friends of Aransas and Matagorda.  Please visit their website below and then take a moment to check-out these 2 Whooping Crane videos – filmed at the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge by Capt. Kevin Sims.

                

Please visit some informative and helpful sites below to learn more:

        

In 1996 the whooping crane recovery teams of Canada and the United States were merged into an international team, now known as the International Whooping Crane Recovery Team. This Team developed a recovery plan that calls for the establishment of a second migratory whooping crane population in the eastern U.S. With that goal in mind, the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership was formed in 1998 under the leadership of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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Aransas Bay Adventures invite you to come see these beautiful creatures by boat (just a short 45-minute trip to the Whooping Cranes winter home!  These fantastic cranes migrate to the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge each year.  Trips are offered from Nov. 15th thru April 15th each year.  To learn more about our wintering Whoopers, please visit the link/logos below!

Your trip will depart form the SeaGun Marine – a very short drive north of Rockport, TX.  (See our FAQs page for map and driving directions.)  The South Teas Gulf Climate and food sources create the perfect winter habitat for this endangered species. The Whoopers thoroughly enjoy the fresh blue crabs and wild wolf berries available in abundance along the shorelines and in the marshes at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge.  They love it here!!

CLICK HERE TO READ THE WHOOPING CRANE REPORT

 

The original wild flock is made up of birds that have always lived in natural circumstances. This flock of Whooping Cranes is the only naturally occurring wild population in the world. Two other flocks are formed by Whooping cranes hatched and reared in captivity and reintroduced into the wild.  Visit and learn about their migration habits: WHOOPING CRANE CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION

CLICK THE MAP BELOW TO LEARN ABOUT THE WHOOPING CRANE MIGRATIONS EACH YEAR!

 

INTERESTING FAQs ABOUT THE TAGGING OF WHOOPING CRANES:

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Some of the Whoopers, about 1/3 of the flock, are tagged with colored bands as well as a GPS tracking device. The colored bands allow biologist to identify individual Whoopers. This along with the GPS devices allow the biologist to track the Whoopers movements.  Banding of the Whoopers was canceled in 2014.  Tracking information allows the Biologist to log migration routes as well as feeding patterns. This information helps to protect the Whoopers by protecting feeding grounds and resting areas used during migration.
If you should encounter a Whooping Crane, report where and when you saw them:
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Visit our FAQs & Info page for location map and directions to marina, deposits and cancellation policy.