Sunday's for the Birds: A Serendipitous Birding Encounter

The whooping crane class of 2013 began its maiden migratory voyage on October 2. That first day, the chicks (at least half of them) flew five miles. Since then, the weather has grounded the migration team. While waiting for something to happen, so I can begin my report of their trip, I decided to write a few words about two wildlife photographers who steered me in the right direction.

While traveling through Florida three years ago, I met Lou and Betsy Kellenberger from Tallahassee. My husband and I had just checked into the lodge at Wakulla Springs, which is located south of the Crystal River Preserve on the Gulf side of the state. Our plan was to stay a couple of nights and continue on. That first afternoon, I signed up for a bird boating trip. The Kellenbergers were on the boat and we got to talking. They told me about the St. Marks Whooping Crane Festival scheduled that weekend and about Homosassa Springs, another birding paradise near Crystal River. Our two night stay turned into four. At the whooping crane festival, I met the Operation Migration folks, an encounter that proved valuable to the writing of my book The Man Who Saved the Whooping Crane: The Robert Porter Allen Story.
Thank you, Lou and Betsy, my Floridian cranic connections. Hope to see you down the road.

Here are some photos from Homosassa Springs, Florida.
What captions would you give the hippo, owl, eagle, black bear, turtles, and the sandhill crane?

For some really great birding shots, check out Lou Kellenberger's website.