Grus americana L 52" (132cm)
The whooping crane is one of our most familiar birds because it has become the symbol of our efforts to save endangered species. Even observers who have never seen one are familiar with the field marks: They are striking, large, white birds with black wing tips. The bulk of the population breeds at Wood Buffalo National Park in Canada and winters at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in coastal Texas. In recent years there has been a program to create a non-migratory flock in Florida, and efforts are underway to establish a breeding population in the western Great Lakes Region. The call, a deep, trumpet-like ker-loo, can be heard for more than a mile. They breed on prairies with ponds and wetlands and winter in coastal marshes. Throughout the year they feed on small animals and plant seeds. The greatest threat at the moment seems to be collisions with power lines during migration.