Photo credit: ICF
Crane sounds: USGS/NorthWord Press
Endangered Birds of Florida
The Whooping Crane
To begin: what is a Bird?
A Bird is a warm blooded,
bipedal (two legs)
vertebrate (has a backbone)
bills and wings and most can
It lays eggs to reproduce and
many theories have
it classified as a direct
descendant of Dinosaurs,
dating back to the Jurassic
There are two
Crane species in Florida,
the Whooping Crane and the Sandhill Crane.
These two Cranes are the only ones in North
and are most likely the oldest birds on
dating back possibly to over 6 million
In 1941 there were only 16 Whooping
still alive in this Country.
They were listed as Federally
Endangered in 1967.
Today thru the efforts of
heroes on many fronts,
the population has grown to
Although tragedies have
followed them everywhere,
yet, still they prevail.
With a bit of luck, they
just might make it as
Whooping Cranes are blessed to have
volunteers all over this
country, whose mission is to assure that.
The magnificent Whooping Crane is the
in North America at nearly 5
They have a wingspan of
The male Cranes weigh about 17 lbs.
the females are about 14 lbs.
They have white bodies with
black tips on their wings,
their legs are black and
their heads are bright red.
Their bills are black.
Crane lifespan averages 20-24 years
as with other great birds, they
care for their young together.
Whooping Cranes normally have 2 chicks/babies,
but rarely do they both survive.
Both Crane species mate for life, however
mate dies or is killed, they
Adult Whooping Crane and Juvenile
Photo credit: ICF
The mating dance of the
Cranes is at once
both comical and strangely beautiful.
Cranes dance not only when
but at other times as if for
the pure joy of it.
Photo credit: ICF
When these Cranes fly, it is a
their necks straight and their
out behind, making them
appear even larger than they
The Whooping Crane is omnivorous,
meaning that it will eat many
Photo credit: USFWS
As these magnificent birds fly directly
homes in central Florida, they often
squawk in a
bugle sound announcing their presence
their sounds can actually be heard for
several miles away.
Younger ones alone in a field will often
until a parent shows up to calm its
This primordial call is an eerie auditory
what the era of the dinosaur must have
As the Whooping Cranes return
to Florida each Winter,
any sightings should be
reported to the USFWS,
the form to fill in that
tells them who is where is here:
This web site is dedicated to
the Eastern Whooping Cranes:
Bring back the Cranes
Go here to hear the Cranes
Operation Crane Watch
A final note:
There is a wonderful documentary on PBS,
if you are lucky enough to get to see it:
It details the travels of the Cranes
and has some unforgettable moments~
Places to learn more:
Boreal Songbird Initiative
All about Birds: The Whooping Crane
Dr. Gary Krapu
the Platte River
Whooping Cranes Endangered by Wind Turbines
A Tale of Cranes
International Crane Foundation
Saving the Cranes
Whooping Crane Profile
Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
Spring Migration - Cranes
Northern Prairie Wildlife Center
Whooping Crane Population Reaches Record
Whooping Crane Facts
Whooping Crane Biology, etc. - PDF full version online
Whooping Crane Flock Status and
Walking with the Alligators
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