In this presentation, still and video images will contextualize the migratory corridor of the Whooping Crane on the surface of Earth—using perspectives from spaceflight, the air, and on the surface—from the northern nesting ground to the southern over-wintering area. The shift in the Whooping Crane's nesting sites from the prairies to areas farther to the north and east occurred sometime after the mid 1920s. In 1967, observers in Wood Buffalo National Park of Canada (WBNP) found Whooping Cranes near a small river in the northeast part of the park. Nesting activity now occurs in a wider area, and sometimes outside but close to the WBNP boundary. The return of the wild Whooping Crane to the Canadian prairies during its fall migration means the rare chance to glimpse this endangered bird in its natural environment as it prepares itself for the long flight south to Texas. From this staging area, adult Whooping Cranes will disperse to fly in families with their young, while immature Whooping Cranes may fly together and sometimes with Sandhill Cranes to the Mid-Western States as they stop over on route to Aransas National Wildlife Refuge on the Gulf Coast of Texas. From the International Space Station, the human eye can see only half the distance that the Whooping Cranes fly, one way, twice a year. The Whooping Crane’s world is not small, as measured by the distance of the migration corridor from north to south.
The Roberta Bondar Foundation, co-founded by the first female Canadian astronaut and the world's first neurologist in space, connects people to the natural world, inspiring curiosity, respect for, and conservation of the environment while building healthier lives. We believe that the camera is a gateway to frame and reframe the world around us, seeing what we have not seen before. The fusion of photographic art and science stimulates our creative expression and expands our understanding of the environment and our interrelationship with its elements. Through our educational programs and research, we encourage people to ask questions, learn, and unleash their creativity, thereby building enquiring minds and an informed society. Our AMASS (Avian Migration Aerial, Surface, Space) project uses photography to capture the migration stories of seven bird species, including Whooping Cranes, through images taken by Dr. Bondar on the ground and in the air, plus photos taken by NASA astronauts from the International Space Station.
Limited to 100 people. Session will be hosted at Port Aransas Community Theatre, 2327 Hwy. 361, Port Aransas, TX 78373. Please arrive at least 20 minutes prior to presentation beginning.