Each year about this time over 400 species of birds that migrated south for the winter begin their Spring journey northward across the Gulf of Mexico and the Gulf Coast flyways. Those of us in the Houston Region get the pleasure of watching them arrive just in time for the blooming of our trees and azaleas.
Early bird watchers have reported that this year they have seen one of the rarest bird species to visit the region since the last business cycle, the German Climbing Crane. They are magnificent and are easily recognizable to anyone who is lucky enough to see them on their migration northward. They are tall and move with incredible grace as they peer over the landscape.
They usually are fairly short when they land, but they grow to towering heights in a short span of time.
So far in this migration cycle, there are fewer than in the last cycle. Those cranes had become an endangered species over the last decade and many Houstonians were afraid that they might become extinct. True, two were spotted in the CBD (Central Business District) over the last two years, and there were a couple spotted in the Texas Medical Center as well, but certainly not in and around the Galleria.
This year a flock of them has landed in and around the Galleria. Crane watchers from all over the country have come to Houston just hoping to see them and to possibly snag one of the construction jobs that they bring with them. It is an amazing species to see. One of our spotters saw a Swedish species of that rare bird standing near the Waterwall Park, the first of its kind to visit Houston. And there is a Spanish Crane standing just upstream of the Swedish one. A truly rare bird indeed.
These sightings are worthy of notice since it has been over 25 years since the last of the “office subspecies” of the Climbing Crane has been spotted standing in the Galleria corridor.