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Nestled in the heart of Port Aransas, Texas, The Whooping Crane Festival has become a beacon for bird lovers, wildlife enthusiasts, and nature photographers from across the globe. Since its inception in 1996, this annual event has celebrated the majestic return of the Whooping Cranes to their wintering grounds at the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. This year, from February 22 through February 25, 2024, we are thrilled to invite you to partake in the 27th anniversary of this remarkable festival.

A Sanctuary for the Whooping Cranes

The Texas Coastal Bend is the only locale where you can witness the world’s last naturally occurring population of Whooping Cranes. These majestic birds, standing up to five feet tall with a wingspan of seven to eight feet, make an awe-inspiring sight as they grace our shores each winter. The Whooping Crane Festival in Port Aransas offers a unique opportunity to observe these endangered birds up close, in their natural habitat, a privilege that draws visitors from near and far.

Four Days of Nature-Infused Activities

The festival is not just about bird watching; it’s a comprehensive celebration of nature and wildlife conservation. The 2024 event lineup is packed with a variety of activities designed to engage and educate attendees of all ages:

  • Birding and Boating Tours: Embark on guided tours to witness the Whooping Cranes and other wildlife. The Whooping Crane Boat Tour is a festival highlight, offering unparalleled views of these rare birds in their natural setting.
  • Photography Workshops: Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned photographer, workshops like “Seriously? You Want to Photograph Birds?” and “Photographing Birds in Flight” provide invaluable tips and techniques for capturing wildlife.
  • Nature and Conservation Lectures: Hear from renowned speakers, including Dr. Elizabeth Smith from the International Crane Foundation and Dr. George Archibald, co-founder of the foundation, on the conservation efforts that help protect the Whooping Cranes and their habitat.
  • Interactive Workshops and Tours: From exploring the Lamar Peninsula to attending the Amos Rehabilitation Keep (ARK) Tour, the festival offers myriad ways to connect with nature. Workshops on bird identification, Lightroom photo processing, and conservation strategies provide hands-on learning experiences.
  • Cultural and Social Events: The festival also celebrates the local community with events like the Sunset, Wine & Dolphin Cruise, Art Class: Wine, Whine, & Design, and performances at the Port Aransas Community Theatre.

Join Us at Port Aransas Fisherman’s Wharf

As the gateway to your Whooping Crane Festival adventure, Port Aransas Fisherman’s Wharf is the perfect place to start your journey. Our facilities offer easy access to festival events, boat tours, and a range of accommodations to ensure a comfortable stay. Whether you’re here to marvel at the Whooping Cranes, improve your photography skills, or simply enjoy the natural beauty of Port Aransas, the Whooping Crane Festival is an event you won’t want to miss.

Celebrate with us the return of the Whooping Cranes, a testament to the beauty and resilience of nature. We look forward to welcoming you to Port Aransas for a festival that promises to be both enlightening and exhilarating. See you in February 2024 for an unforgettable experience!