Many light waterbirds look alike

2006-2007 Waterfowl Digest - Texas Hunting Regulations for Ducks, Mergansers, Coots, Geese and Cranes

Protected Non-game Species

Federal and State fines and jail time can apply if you shoot at these birds.

whooping cranes
WHOOPING CRANES (endangered)
  • White with black wingtips, red cap and red malar stripe
  • Juveniles have a mixture of white and brown body feathers, with black wingtips
  • Necks long, extended straight forward in flight.
  • Wingspan: 7 feet
  • Legs extend beyond tail in flight
  • Slow wingbeat
  • Flocks of 2 to 7, sometimes migrate with sandhill cranes.

  • All white
  • Necks long, extended straight forward in flight
  • Wingspan: more than 6 feet
  • Short legs, do not extend beyond tail in flight
  • Flocks of 2 to 10

More non-game species

Whooping crane, pelican, heron and sandhill crane illustrations courtesy of Duane Westerholt and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. Swan and goose illustrations by Clemente Guzman, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Wood stork and white ibis illustrations from "A Field Guide to the Birds of Texas and Adjacent States," by Roger Tory Peterson. © 1960, 1963 by Roger Tory Peterson. Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

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