Whooping Crane

photo by Jason Mrachina CC BY-NC-ND

Whooping Crane are the tallest North American bird (5 ft) with a long neck and legs and a wingspan of over 7 ft. Adults are pure white with a crimson cap and mustache. Juveniles have white feathers with rusty-brown streaks.

Whooping Crane are an endangered species. A small naturally-occurring group spends the summer in Alberta and the Northwest Territories, travelling south to Texas for the winter. A reintroduced group spends the summer in Wisconsin and the winter in Florida, while another spends the summer in Idaho and the winter in New Mexico. There are year-round flocks in Florida and Louisiana.

Whooping Crane breed in shallow grassy wetlands, stopping over on wide shallow river flats during migration. They spend their winters in coastal marshes and estuaries.

Did you know? Whooping Crane browse and probe for food while moving at a slow, stately pace - unlike Heron (Great Blue Heron) that often stand motionless, suddenly pouncing on their prey.

See Also: Sandhill Crane