6 Fascinating Whooping Crane Facts
Learn about the current whooping crane population and kick up more facts about these elegant and endangered birds.
Whooping Crane Population
Because of unregulated hunting and habitat loss, fewer than two dozen whooping cranes were estimated to be alive in 1941. Thanks to conservation efforts, about 600 whooping cranes are alive today. Some scientists even hand-rear chicks while dressed as adult cranes so the young don’t imprint on people.
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Whooping Crane Migration
The only self-sustaining flock of whooping cranes in the wild migrates around 2,400 miles from Canada to Texas each year. They winter along the Texas Gulf Coast at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge and in the Southeast.
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What Does a Whooping Crane Eat?
Whooping cranes are omnivorous, eating both plants and animals. They especially love blue crabs and can eat up to 80 in a day.
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Whooping Cranes Are Really Big Birds
Standing nearly 5 feet tall with long legs and necks, they hold the title of the tallest bird in North America. These stunning white cranes are easy to identify if you’re lucky enough to find one. Sandhill cranes are slightly shorter, and their feathers are gray instead of white.
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Do Whooping Cranes Mate for Life?
During courtship dances, a crane bows its head, flaps its wings and leaps into the air to form and strengthen its bond with its one mate for life.
Nesting Habits and Eggs
Female whooping cranes typically lay two eggs per clutch, and both parents play an active role in building the nest and feeding the young.
Next, learn 7 fascinating facts about great blue herons.