Inspired by our visit to the International Crane Foundation (ICF), we present a bunch of Whooping Crane facts. Enjoy!
- Whooping Cranes almost became extinct; they were at a low of only 16 birds
- In 2001 ICF became involved in reestablishing an eastern population of Whooping Cranes by using ultralight aircraft to guide young cranes on migration from Wisconsin to Florida.
- The Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership (WCEP) was established in 1999 to help conserve these beautiful birds
- Whooping Cranes are the tallest flying North American bird
- Whoopers today only nest in Wood Buffalo National Park in Canada
- They migrate to Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in Texas
- A second migratory flock is being trained with ultralight aircraft to fly from Necedah National Wildlife Refuge in Wisconsin to Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge in Florida
- The journey is 1200 miles
- This trip is slow and often delayed by adverse weather; it can take from 40-90 days to complete
- Once the cranes make the trip once they are able to return unguided the following breeding season
- This trip only takes 7-10 days
- As of 2006 the flock numbered over 60 birds
- Whooping Cranes are the least abundant (and highly endangered)
- In 1989 “…the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, home to nearly all captive whooping cranes, sent half of their flock to ICF.” – ICF
- In 2006 ICF launched Three White Cranes, Two Flyways, One World education project to connect Siberian and Red-crowned Cranes with Whooping Cranes on an educational/conservation front.
- Whooping Cranes have been recorded to fly 500 miles in one day
- Whooping Crane chicks sleep standing up
- Thanks to amazing conservation efforts, Whooping Crane populations are increasing and now number around 400
Have a Whooping Crane fact you want to share? Let us know!! Much of these facts are from the International Crane Foundation’s excellent website.