by Tara Tanaka
Leon county's wintering pair of endangered wild Whooping Cranes left their overnight roosting site for a day of feeding.
The pair of wild Whooping Cranes has returned to Leon county for the third winter, and they return to this pond every evening to roost. They come in after sunset, and last night glided across a pink and purple sky on their way to the pond. This was the first time I'd gotten to see them dance close up, and it was quite a special moment.
Whooping Cranes: Operation Migration Class of 2012 flyover at St. Marks, FL
The Whooping Crane (Grus americana), the tallest North American bird, is an endangered crane species named for its whooping sound. In 2003, there were about 153 pairs of whooping cranes. Along with the Sandhill Crane, it is one of only two crane species found in North America. The Whooping Crane's lifespan is estimated to be 22 to 24 years in the wild. After being pushed to the brink of extinction by unregulated hunting and loss of habitat to just 21 wild and two captive Whooping Cranes by 1941, conservation efforts have led to a limited recovery. As of 2011, there are an estimated 437 birds in the wild and more than 165 in captivity. Wikipedia
Tara Tanaka created all four of these short videos on the Whooping Crane. Tara, who is a two time winner of the prestigious Swarovski Optik Digiscoper of the Year award, shoots her videos and stills with Panasonic Lumix GH3 mounted on a Swarovski STX 95 scope using manual focus.
Tara has recently started working with Think Tank as an affiliate. She has configured a system to carry her equipment that is comfortable, yet make her scope and camera available for use quickly. It has the additional advantage of fitting under an airplane seat when she travels. The belt system offered by Think Tank also works with the backpack to distribute the load to your hips to ease the load. Of course the belt is well known for the modular system of bags and other components needed when in the field. For all types of cameras and lenses, Think Tank has the answer for storing and transporting your equipment.
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