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  • Phil Foxall

Get Wild for the Whooping Cranes: Celebrating the Annual Return at the 2023 Whooping Crane Festival


Are you a bird lover looking for an exciting adventure? Look no further than the Whooping Crane Festival in Port Aransas, Texas! Every year since 1996, this festival celebrates the return of the majestic whooping cranes to their wintering habitat at the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge.

Whooping cranes, known for their striking beauty and height, are truly a sight to behold. These majestic birds, with their white plumage and impressive 7.5 foot wingspans, are the tallest avians in North America. They mate for life, building floating nests in shallow water and performing elaborate courtship dances.

The 2023 Whooping Crane Festival takes place from February 23-26, making it the perfect time to witness these beautiful creatures in person. But the festival isn't just about the whooping cranes - there are also a variety of educational and fun activities for all ages, including birding trips and art shows. Plus, you can even take a boat tour to see the cranes in their natural habitat.

But the birdwatching doesn't stop there - Rockport and Port Aransas are also home to many other world-class birding sites, including the Bahia Loop and Aransas Loop of the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail, as well as the stunning Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. This protected area is home to over 400 species of migratory and resident birds, making it a must-visit destination for bird enthusiasts.

And don't forget to add the Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center to your itinerary. This stop on the Great Texas Birding Trail offers visitors a chance to see migratory waterfowl up close, as well as other birds like ducks, shorebirds, and raptors. The birding center is also known for its easy viewing opportunities of passerine migrants in April and May, thanks to the native and bird-friendly vegetation planted along the sidewalk that connects the parking lot to the boardwalk.

For a comfortable and convenient place to stay during your birdwatching adventure, check out Catchin’ Paradise. This vacation rental is centrally located between Rockport Beach and Port Aransas, with plenty of room to park your boat and a marina just a short drive away. The area also offers a variety of activities such as fishing, hunting, kayaking, and a Blue Wave award-winning beach, making it the perfect spot for your next vacation.


Don't miss your opportunity to see the amazing and endangered whooping crane this year. Come on down to Rockport/Port Aransas to experience this amazing festival and the beautiful Coastal Bend. We would love to host you and your family and friends during your stay so don't forget to book your stay today!



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