International Crane Foundation


Help us build a new home for our cranes!

“Cranes are magnificent dancers, international travelers and great ambassadors for conservation worldwide. What birds could be more deserving of our help and protection?” ~ Sir David Attenborough

A place where dreams take flight.

The International Crane Foundation remains the only place on Earth where visitors can see all 15 crane species, who serve as worldwide ambassadors for conservation, international cooperation and goodwill. These charismatic cranes bring people together to find new ways to sustain water, land and livelihoods.

And, they need a new home!

With your support, the International Crane Foundation’s headquarters will undergo a much-needed renovation to create better crane environments, visitor experiences and enhanced messages to support our global mission.

Thank you for helping us build a new home for our cranes!

Help us build a new home for our cranes!

Our crane exhibits connect people to the birds, their native lands and habitats we seek to protect. The planned improvements at our headquarters include enlarged exhibits with ponds and a new visitor center.

Upgrading crane environments

Each exhibit will feature ponds that better simulate the natural habitats of each crane species. Murals in several exhibits will tell the story of the landscape, people and communities where the cranes live.  Exhibits will provide memorable stories about our important conservation work in places like Africa, Southeast Asia and China.

Enhancing the visitor experience

A new, improved and larger visitor center will allow visitors to connect with our foundation’s mission on multiple levels. The center will offer dynamic interpretive elements, an indoor viewing opportunity for the Sandhill Crane exhibit, an expanded gift shop, member information and a new theater.

The larger theater will showcase innovative technology that immerses visitors in the experience of crane migration. Through this technology, visitors will experience the sights and sounds of 400,000 Sandhill Cranes flying overhead during spring migration and witness Siberian Cranes arriving on their wintering grounds.

A new Sandhill Crane exhibit with an indoor viewing pavilion within the visitor center welcomes guests as they begin their journey of discovery about the worldwide work of the International Crane Foundation.

The Cranes and Culture exhibit will highlight traditions that connect people and cranes throughout the world.

Other site improvements

  • Improved, greater space for school groups to meet, including a new bus drop-off and loading area, providing safe, easy access to the visitor center.
  • An informative and artistic Cranes and Culture display honoring the cultural connection of cranes throughout history.
  • Upgrades to the beloved Whooping Crane exhibit.
  • A completely new habitat and home for our Critically Endangered Siberian Cranes, including a large wetland area.
  • Beautiful crane sculptures illustrating the various crane behaviors and life stages throughout the site.
  • A larger picnic area and more parking spaces.

Renovating Crane City

A model for crane conservation centers worldwide, Crane City maintain birds of high genetic value and is a haven for breeding rare cranes for captive populations and reintroductions.

Crane City needs your help. The buildings and enclosures need renovation. 

Our amazing crane ambassadors need a home during the cold Wisconsin winter when not on exhibit. We call this winter home Crane City. This facility houses our breeding birds and provides training and hands-on experience to aviculturists and conservation partners from around the world.

Nearly 50 percent of the birds residing at Crane City are Endangered Whooping Cranes. They are critical to our reintroduction efforts. These birds rear chicks and supply eggs for the reintroduction of Whooping Cranes into Wisconsin and Louisiana, part of a strategy to help bring this species back from extinction.

The upgrades to Crane City will allow us to keep making strides in securing cranes throughout the world – whether through reintroduction projects, building capacity by training future generations of conservationists from around the world, or through our participation in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plans, which guide captive breeding for several crane species.

This old house in Crane City

An older crane enclosure in Crane City – imagine what it will look like with new netting, updated siding and a new roof!

Needed improvements include:

  • Netting for each enclosure.
  • Siding and roofs for each house to keep birds safe from inclement weather and predators throughout the year.
  • Water hydrants to supply fresh water to the birds year-round.
  • Updated video monitoring equipment for bird observations. This equipment is used to monitor breeding behaviors and chick rearing critical for our work.