Whooping Crane Interesting Facts
What type of animal is a Whooping Crane?
The whooping crane (Grus americana) is a type of bird. They belong to the order Gruiformes. It is one of the two species of cranes native to North America and the tallest bird in North America.
What class of animal does a Whooping Crane belong to?
The whooping crane (Grus americana) belongs to the Aves class of the Animalia kingdom.
How many Whooping Cranes are there in the world?
The whooping crane is an endangered bird species. They were pushed to the brink of extinction due to excessive hunting pressures and habitat loss. There were only 21 of them left in the wild by 1941. However, due to efforts from various organizations working towards increasing their populations, there are now about 800 whooping cranes in the world, including wild and captive birds. Fortunately, their population is increasing. The Endangered Species Act of 1973 saved these cranes from extinction.
Where does a Whooping Crane live?
The whooping crane is one of the only two native North American species of cranes. The number of birds in this species fell drastically to the point where they were on the verge of extinction. But now they are increasing in numbers again and can be found in Canada, and the United States in Wisconsin, and surrounding midwestern states, and also in Louisiana and Florida but in smaller numbers. They are migratory birds who winter in the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in Texas and Wood Buffalo National Park in Canada.
What is a Whooping Crane's habitat?
Since their population is small, they have limited breeding grounds in the wild. They live in wetlands and marshes. Their breeding habitat is also wetlands. They nest on the ground beside marshes, usually in a raised area. Thanks to various projects they are finally nesting naturally after almost a century. The experimental non-migratory whooping crane population has nested in Louisiana and Florida. The two bigger migratory populations spend their summers in Wisconsin and Canada, while they winter in the Gulf Coast of Texas and other territories of the Southeastern USA. In Texas, they can be found in the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge.
Who do Whooping Cranes live with?
Whooping cranes are known to live in pairs and sometimes in a shared group. They also tend to fly in pairs or small groups while flying. Most groups consist of family members.
How long does a Whooping Crane live?
The lifespan of whooping cranes in the wild is about 22-24 years.
How do they reproduce?
Whooping cranes are birds that mate for life. They usually become a pair at about two or three years of age and spend their lives together. Although after the untimely death of a partner, they might find a new partner. Their nesting and breeding grounds are around wet habitats like marshes and bogs. They mate and nest at around the same places in the Wood Buffalo National Park in Canada. This bird breeds in April and lays eggs in April and May. There are up to three eggs in each clutch, but most of the time, only one chick survives. Both the males and females take part in the brooding process and the incubation period of whooping crane eggs is about 29-31 days. The mothers usually interact more with the young chicks.
What is their conservation status?
The whooping crane is listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List. Fortunately, whooping crane populations are increasing due to efforts from several wildlife organizations.
Whooping Crane Fun Facts
What do Whooping Cranes look like?
The whooping crane is the tallest North American bird. These birds are about 4-5.2 ft (1.4-1.6 m) tall, and they have a huge wingspan of about 6.7-7.7 ft (2-2.3 m). The adult birds weigh about 14-16 lb (6.3-7.2 kg). These birds have a tall body covered in white feathers. They also have very long necks and long black legs. They have a long, dark, and pointed bill that they use to catch prey. They have a red patch on their head. These birds have huge white wings with black wingtips, which are visible during flight. The baby birds are light brown and cinnamon brown.
How cute are they?
Whooping cranes are not a species that can be associated with the word cute. They are about as tall as humans and very powerful as well. Though they are beautiful, almost majestic in their appearance. The baby birds, on the other hand, are very cute.
How do they communicate?
Whooping cranes make vocalizations to communicate. They can make a soft call to communicate with nearby cranes, or a loud call to alert their partners from afar. The loud whooping crane sound can be heard from a long distance. Their call is a very distinct whooping sound.
How big is a Whooping Crane?
The whooping crane is the tallest bird in North America. They are taller than the only other North American crane species- the sandhill cranes. The average height of a whooping crane is about 4-5.2 ft (1.4-1.6 m). which is almost as tall as a human. They also have a wingspan of about 6.7-7.7 ft (2-2.3 m), which is huge.
How fast can a Whooping Crane fly?
While migrating, the average speed of adult whooping cranes is about 37-50 mph (60-80 kph). They can even reach the speed of 62 mph (100 kph) if they have a tailwind to assist them. A whooping crane in flight is a sight to behold.
How much does a Whooping Crane weigh?
The average weight of adult whooping cranes is about 14-16 lb (6.3-7.2 kg).
What are the male and female names of the species?
There are no specific names for the males and females of the species. They are simply called the male whooping crane and the female whooping crane.
What would you call a baby Whooping Crane?
Like every other crane species, whooping crane babies are also called chicks.
What do they eat?
Whooping cranes are omnivorous but mostly eat animal-centric food. They eat mollusks, fish, small reptiles, amphibians, small rodents, and aquatic insects. Their plant diet includes marsh plants, acorns, berries, and various roots. They use their long bill to catch prey.
Are they poisonous?
No, this bird species is not poisonous.
Would they make a good pet?
No. It is illegal to have them as pets not only because they are on the verge of extinction, but also because they are a migratory species. Capturing them would mean taking away their habitat and freedom. Even the captive birds in various sanctuaries are kept in immense care and are provided an ideal habitat which is not possible in a house.
Did you know...
The eastern migratory population of whooping cranes is increasing according to the International Crane Foundation. This is very exciting news.
Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in Texas and Wood Buffalo National Park in Canada have whooping cranes.
Even though their conservation status is still endangered, these cranes are gradually increasing in numbers due to the efforts of many organizations.
Whooping cranes are diurnal migratory birds, meaning they fly during the day. They also rest and feed during migration.
Why are Whooping Cranes going extinct?
Even though they have quite a few natural predators, whooping cranes were pushed to the verge of extinction by reckless hunting by humans. Another reason behind their staggeringly low population is habitat loss, mostly due to global warming and climate change.
What is the difference between a Whooping Crane and a Sandhill Crane?
Whooping cranes and sandhill cranes are the only two native species of cranes in North America. However, they are vastly different in appearance. Whooping cranes are larger and have a predominantly white body whereas sandhill cranes have a mostly gray and ochre body.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds including the northern bobwhite and the hummingbird.
You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable whooping crane coloring pages.