Rare Whooping Cranes by Anamoose

A couple weeks ago Butch and JoEllen Ehrman saw these two whooping cranes feeding in their field.  The cranes only stayed for a day.  I did not realize how rare they are till I looked up the following information on the internet:

American Bird Conservatory Breed in freshwater marshes and prairies.  Found in salt water marshes, shallow lakes and lagoons on migrating into winter.  7-8 ft. wingspan & stands up to 5 ft. tall.-the tallest flying bird in America.  It’s named for its resonant call which can be heard over great distances thanks to an extra long trachea that coils around the bird’s  breast bone twice like a French horn.  

Collisions with wind turbines and power lines are an ongoing threat and unfortunately this bird is still illegally shot by hunters.  These majestic cranes are monogamous and mate for life.  Despite the fact most pairs lay 2 eggs, only the first hatched chick usually survives.  Food availability and predator abundance are major factors in chick survival.

Earth Justice  The whooping cranes were on the brink of extinction in 1941 but thanks to decades of successful conservation, and self-sustaining population, more than 300 birds now migrate between Texas and Canada.  Despite this hopeful sign, there are still only 400 cranes left in the wild today.  


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