Of the world’s 15 crane species, Whooping Cranes are the rarest. In 1945 and 1946, only 15 Whooping Cranes were recorded. The original flock migrates between Texas and northern Canada. This flock is called the main flock, the Wood-Buffalo/Aransas flock, or the Western flock. It has slowly grown to nearly 300 birds as of 2011. Let’s learn some interesting facts about these birds!
10 Amazing Facts About Whooping Cranes
1. Whooping Cranes are the tallest Cranes in North America!
Known for the whooping sound that they make, the Whooping Crane is the tallest North American bird. They are an endangered species. Alongside the Sandhill Crane, they are the only two crane species local to North America. This Crane’s life expectancy is between 22 and 24 years in the wild.
2. The Whooping Crane is an endangered species!
Whooping Cranes were pushed extremely close to termination because of hunting and environmental misfortune. There were just 21 of them left in the wild by 1941. As a result of the endeavors of different associations, there are currently about 800 Whooping Cranes on the planet, including wild and hostage birds. Luckily, their populations are bouncing back. The Endangered Species Act of 1973 was instrumental in improving the Whooping Crane population.
3. TheWhooping Crane population has bounced back significantly!
The Whooping Crane is one of the two local North American types of Cranes. The number of birds in this species fell radically to where they were nearly extinct. However, now they are flourishing again and can be found in Canada, Wisconsin, some midwestern states, Louisiana, and Florida. They are transient birds who winter in the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in Texas and Wood Buffalo National Park in Canada.
4.Whooping Cranes mate for life!
Whooping Cranes are birds that mate forever. Once these birds reach maturity, they find themselves a suitable mate. After the inopportune demise of an accomplice, they may search for another mate. Their habitats are based on wet environments like bogs and lowlands. They breed at similar habitats in the Wood Buffalo National Park in Canada. This bird breeds in April and lays eggs in April and May. There are up to three eggs in each clutch; however, it is rare that more than one chick survives. Both males and females participate in raising their young. The brooding time of Whooping Crane eggs is around 29-31 days. The females interact more with their young than the males.
5. Whooping Cranes are very fast!
While moving, the normal speed of an adult Whooping Crane is around 37-50 mph. They can reach speeds as high as 62 mph in the event that they have a tailwind to help them. A Whooping Crane in flight is an incredible sight.
6.Whooping Cranes are omnivorous!
Whooping Cranes are omnivorous and eat a wide range of wetland creatures. Their winter diets incorporate mollusks and blue crabs. In the late spring, they eat amphibians, frogs, small fish, and berries. While moving around, they mostly eat grain from farming fields.
7. Whooping Cranes have long legs and necks!
The Whooping Crane is an extraordinarily enormous waterbird with long legs and necks. The main physical characteristic that differentiates them from other Cranes is the enormous, red, featherless crest on its head. The remainder of their body is totally white with the exception of dark tips on their wings. They have yellow eyes and dull bills. They are around 5 feet tall with a wingspan of up to 7.5 feet. Whooping Cranes hold the title of the tallest bird in North America. Due to their hollow bones, they only weigh around 15 pounds.
8.Banded Whooping Cranes have given huge insights to their behavior!
Although banding Whooping Cranes is now banned due to the ill effects on this endangered species, when it was still performed, they gave valuable insights about their life history. By recording their sounds and studying the frequency of the samples, it has allowed ornithologists to study individual crane vocalizations.
9.Many predators prey on Whooping Cranes!
These birds are hunted by foxes, coyotes, hawks, wolves, wolverines, and wild bears. An adult bird enjoys some regular benefits against hunters, including its capacity to fly; however, young cranes are extremely vulnerable so they are dependant on their parents for protection.
10. Projects have been created to re-introduce Whooping Cranes to their natural habitats!
As many as 5 different projects have been attempted to re-introduce Whooping Cranes into suitable natural habitats. None of these projects have been as successful as desired, and some were outright failures. One of the major flaws of this strategy is that illegal hunting is carried out when these birds are introduced to land accessible to people. In any case, Whooping Crane populations have increased gradually, and hopefully, future projects will be more successful.
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Bird Watching Binoculars for Identifying Whooping Cranes
The most common types of bird watching binoculars for viewing Whooping Cranes are 8×21 binoculars and 10×42 binoculars. Bird Watching Academy & Camp sells really nice 8×21 binoculars and 10×42 binoculars. You can view and purchase them here.