Whooping Cranes Begin Migration to the Coastal Bend - KiiiTV.com South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

Whooping Cranes Begin Migration to the Coastal Bend

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ARANSAS PASS (Kiii News) -

It is about that time of year when those majestic and magical creatures known as whooping cranes begin migrating to the Coastal Bend.

There have already been several credible sightings of that special and still endangered bird.

The whooping crane is one of the rarest birds found in North America. At one time in the 1940s, there were only about 16 left. Today, there are about 300 of them, thanks to the bird being put on the endangered species list.

Last year, there were an estimated 245 whooping cranes at the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. A park ranger there said that, if you're fortunate enough to see one, consider yourself lucky.

"They're just spectacular birds," said David True, a park ranger at the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. "They stand out. They're unique, and they have something very magical about them, and I think people are drawn to that; and that's one of the reasons why they're probably not extinct. And they very well could have been, very easily, if people didn't care."

The whooping cranes travel some 2,500 miles from their nesting grounds in Canada all the way to the Texas coast. The period from late November to mid-March is when the highest number of whooping cranes are typically here in the Coastal Bend.