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 canbe 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!
Whooping cranes find a partner by performing an elaborate and graceful dance full of jumps, spins, kicks, and wing sweeps. If the female is impressed, they’ll pair up — often for life!
Legs aren’t the only part of the whooping crane that is surprisingly long. An individuals trachea, or windpipe,is nearly 5 feet in length! This extra long windpipe is what contributes to its powerful whooping call!
While adult whooping cranes are a stunning white, whooping crane chicks are a cinnamon brown colour. They won’t grow their white adult feathers until they’re nearly one year old!
Scientists tracking whooping crane migrations have discovered that some cranes can fly for as long as 10 hours straight without landing! They use spirals and periods of gliding to rest while they soar!
See how the Dallas Zoo is working to help rebuild flock numbers in this inside look at their Whooping Crane Center in Dallas, Texas.