Whooping cranes have a number of natural predators, including American black bears, bald eagles, bobcats, Canadian lynx, grey wolves, mountain lions, red foxes, and wolverines.
As early as the 1940s, fewer than 20 whooping cranes existed.
However, thanks to conservation efforts, there are now more than 800 whooping cranes that make the 3,862 kilometre migration from their nesting areas in the north to the Gulf Coast of the United States every winter.
Populations are continuing to rise, but it’s a slow process. Cranes only have 1 or 2 eggs per breeding cycle.
Both parents share caretaking duties for their hatchlings, who are capable of leaving their ground-based nests within a few hours of hatching.
Whooping crane childhood goes by fast!
Most will learn to fly within 3 months of hatching, and by the time their first northern migration begins, they’ll be largely independent!
Due to their endangered status, seeing a whooping crane in the wild is quite rare.
If you are lucky enough to witness one, bird experts recommend keeping your distance. Whooping cranes are very wary and can be aggressive.
If you happen to live near their migration path, keep an eye on the skies and listen for their distinctive call.
Who knows, you may get a chance to sneak a peak at these Wowzerful winged friends as they soar overhead!