International Crane Foundation

 

Spotlight

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Whooping Crane

Grus americana

HEIGHT: ~ 152 cm, 5 ft
WEIGHT: ~ 7 – 8 kg; 15 – 17 lb
POPULATION: ~ 612 (captive and wild)
TREND: Increasing
STATUS: IUCN: EN; ESA: E, EX; Cites Appendix I

FUN FACT

The Whooping Crane is the tallest bird in North America.

IDENTIFICATION

Adults – red patch on forehead, black mustache and legs, black wing tips visible in flight; juveniles – cinnamon-brown feathers

Did you see a banded Whooping Crane? Click here to report your sighting.

Download FREE Whooping Crane images.

All the Whooping Cranes in the world


RANGE

Two distinct migratory populations summer in northwestern Canada and central Wisconsin and winter along the Gulf Coast of Texas and the southeastern United States, respectively. Small, non-migratory populations live in central Florida and coastal Louisiana.

 

Click to view range map.

 


DIET

Plant tubers, blue crabs, small mammals, amphibians, reptiles, insects


CALL

Loud, rattling kar-r-r-o-o-o. Listen to Whooping Crane calls:

Contact Call | A soft, purring call expressing reassurance and location.

Guard Call | A sharp, single call expressing alarm.

Unison Call | A duet performed by a pair, to strengthen their bond and protect their territory.


THREATS

Loss or deterioration of critical wetland habitat (including reduced fresh water at wintering grounds in Texas), low genetic diversity, power line collisions, predation, disturbance at nest sites, and illegal shooting.


OUR PLAN

With creativity and dedication, we are bringing the Whooping Crane back from the brink of extinction. Click on the links below to explore how we are protecting Whooping Cranes and learn how YOU can get involved:

HOW YOU CAN HELP

A future where Whooping Crane populations are safe and secure in the wild is possible, but we need your help! If you give a whoop (and we know you do!) click here to join thousands of others who are making a difference for Whooping Cranes.

see_how_they_grow_300Click here to learn more (for kids – and adults too!)