Tuesday, January 25, 2011

~ Nature Notes - Whooping Cranes ~

Whooping Crane
(Grus Americana)
Code 4: WHCR Code 6: GRUAME

Description: The tallest of all North American birds, the Whooping Crane stands at approximately 52”. Almost completely white, the Whooping Crane has a red and black crown and forehead, has black tips on the undersides of the wings, and black legs.

Eye: Dark olive in juvenile to yellow-white in adult.
Forehead: Red & Black.
Crown: Red & Black.
Nape: White.
Throat: Throat.
Upper Tail: White with black primary flight feathers.
Under Tail: White with black primary flight feathers.
Leg: Black.

Voice: Like that of a bugling or trumpeting sound and can be heard for several miles.

Mating & Courtship: Monogamous - Mates for life.

Nesting: Materials - Reeds, grasses and sod.
Number of Eggs - 1 - 3
Egg Description - Creamy olive color with brown markings.
Incubation - 29 - 35 Days
Incubated By - Both parents.

Feeding: Feeds mainly on insects, berries, snails and small fish.

Habitat: Freshwater marshes, swamps, ponds, flowages and cranberry bogs.

Range: From Northern Wisconsin in the Spring & Summer, to Florida in late Autumn & Winter.

Migration Habits: Migratory.

Conservation Status & Life Story: Endangered. However, the population is increasing.

Interesting Facts: Whooping Cranes are the tallest birds in North America. Males stand up to 5’ tall with a wingspan of up to 7.5’.

Related Species: Sandhill Crane - Common Crane - Great Blue Heron

~ Mara

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