Whooping Crane

Grus americana

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  • Whooping Crane |  Photo: USFWS
  • Whooping Crane |  Photo: USFWS
  • Whooping Crane |  Photo: USFWS
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Whooping Crane Photo Gallery

Basic Information

Order

Gruiformes

Family

Gruidae

Size

Whooping Cranes are generally between 58 and 60 inches in length.

Lifespan

up to 30 years

Weight

Whooping Crane (Grus americana) facts, habitat, range, crane pictures and bird watching tips to help you identify the waterfowl.

Diet

Omnivore

Behavior

Probing

Range

Fragmented

Nest Placement

Ground

Number of Offspring

1-3 Eggs

Egg Description

Light brown with dark brown spots

Condition at Hatching

Active, down covered, feed themselves within 1 day

Social Status

Pairs

Wingspan

7.5 ft

Observation Tips

Aransas National Wildlife Refuge is your best bet.

What does the Whooping Crane look like?

Whooping Cranes are very large and tall waterfowl. They have long black legs, white bodies, long white necks, black wingtips and facemasks with red foreheads and cheeks.

Whooping Crane Habitat

Marshes

Whooping Crane Facts

Whooping Cranes are monogamous and mate for life. However, if a mate dies the other will find another mate. Courtship between Whooping Cranes is quite the display. If you are lucky enough to see it you can expect an extravagant display of leaps, wing flaps and bowing. They generally mate around four years of age and breed once per year. They are omnivores and will probe the ground for food. With blue crabs being a particular favorite. Whooping Cranes are vulnerable to predation both on land and in the air. Wild cats, coyotes and golden eagles often prey on them. During migration they fly at very high altitudes, biologists think this helps them avoid aerial predation from eagles. Whooping Cranes are extremely rare and nearly went extinct. During the 1940’s and early 50’s it is estimated there were fewer than two-dozen in the wild. Captive breeding programs and conservation efforts to preserve habitat have been moderately successful, with their numbers nearing roughly 400. For the best chance to see a Whooping Crane in the wild head to the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in Texas.

See also