Whooping Crane Facts

Inspired by our visit to the International Crane Foundation (ICF), we present a bunch of Whooping Crane facts. Enjoy!

Whooping Crane

  1. Whooping Cranes almost became extinct; they were at a low of only 16 birds
  2. 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.
  3. The Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership (WCEP) was established in 1999 to help conserve these beautiful birds
  4. Whooping Cranes are the tallest flying North American bird
  5. Whoopers today only nest in Wood Buffalo National Park in Canada
  6. They migrate to Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in Texas
  7. 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
  8. The journey is 1200 miles
  9. This trip is slow and often delayed by adverse weather; it can take from 40-90 days to complete
  10. Once the cranes make the trip once they are able to return unguided the following breeding season
  11. This trip only takes 7-10 days
  12. As of 2006 the flock numbered over 60 birds
  13. Whooping Cranes are the least abundant (and highly endangered)
  14. In 1989 “…the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, home to nearly all captive whooping cranes, sent half of their flock to ICF.” – ICF
  15. 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.
  16. Whooping Cranes have been recorded to fly 500 miles in one day
  17. Whooping Crane chicks sleep standing up
  18. 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.

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