IUCN Status : Endangered (population increasing)
One of my favourite birds and favourite endangered animal stories. The whooping crane is the tallest bird in North America coming in at around 5ft tall with a wingspan of around 7ft. They are also the rarest of the world’s 15 crane species and have come close to extinction. Thanks to conservation efforts some attempts at reintroduction have taken place. The first attempt at reintroducing the species in the late 60s failed but due to persistent efforts they have now established two non-migratory populations and one migratory population. In order to teach the birds to migrate from Florida to Texas, humans had to teach them the migratory routes by flying light aircraft and teaching the birds to follow them!
Did you know that
• juvenile whooping cranes are a rusty brown/red colour. Their plumage only turns white after they’re 2 years old
• whooping cranes are monogamous and mate for life. Their mating dance involves elaborate leaps and wing flapping
• whilst the current populations are in protected areas, they do suffer from loss of their wetland habitats and climate change
Have you ever seen a whooping crane? Tell me all about it!