Whooping Cranes at Necedah National Wildlife Refuge

Last Saturday Pam and I headed to the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge on a last minute whim. It was a nice day for a drive and a lot more fun than cleaning house. We arrived shortly after noon and discovered there was going to be a presentation at 1:00 PM on River Otters at the new Visitor/Education Center. The topic piqued my interest as I have observed and photographed some River Otters at the Trempealeau Nation Wildlife Refuge near Winona. These small creatures are very evasive and quick which makes getting great photos very difficult.

The presentation was informative and interesting. I now know why they are difficult to find. The presentation lasted less than an hour so we then turned our attention to photographing in the wildlife area. We talked to some very helpful volunteers at the front desk who pointed out some of the locations where Whooping Cranes had recently been sighted.

Our first stop was at the observation tower located just down the road from the Visitor/Education Center that overlooks Rynearson Pool #1. To my surprise, the pool area was teeming with a variety of birds including some banded Whooping Cranes. We were told the pool had recently been drawn down which apparently exposed some great feeding areas for the refuge birds. In addition to the images below we also observed a Bald Eagle and a variety of small shore birds.

Please enjoy the images. Remember to click on them to enlarge them. These images are not always posted on my other sites so please contact me if you are interested in acquiring any of them.

Some of the many Sandhill Cranes feeding in the pool.

A Great Egret is dwarfed while standing near a Whooping Crane.

A small flock of Canadian Geese in the pool area.

This Blue Heron avoided a confrontation with the Whooping Crane. A couple
of Sandhill Cranes were quietly feeding in the foreground.

After awhile we pulled ouselves away from the observation tower to check out another area of the refuge. Our destination was the Goose Pool area that is located north of the Visitor/Education Center.

Near the Suk Cerney Flowage a Whitetail Deer posed from the marsh area.
An aptly named Deer Fly was perched by it's eye.

We spotted this Red-headed Woodpecker, just up the road
from the area we photographed the deer, in a wooded area.

I photographed this pair of Whooping Cranes at the Goose Pool.

Across the road from Goose Pool is Sprague Pool which is where this
sleepy Great Blue Heron posed for us.

The Blue Heron has a unique way of kneeling down on his knees which
involves his feet ending up in front of his knees instead of in back of his

This Dowitcher was also in the Sprague Pool and is our final image
of this blog post.


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