USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
The Courtship of a Whooping Crane………in Captivity

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For those of us blessed to work with the whooping cranes at Patuxent there are a number of ways, on any given day or in any given year, we are rewarded for our dedication to their recovery. 

During a recent morning walk through of the Blue Series pens, where many whooping crane pairs reside, I could hear the birds begin their familiar symphony of unison calls.  When I listened to the cranes, I could hear one new, still unfamiliar unison call.  The sound of this call has given the crane crew much reason to smile, because it is that from a newly formed pair.

In the late fall and winter of each year, long before eggs are laid and chicks start hatching, we focus on future generations of whooping cranes.  It is during this time that we begin the process of forming new whooping crane pairs.  This is a carefully planned process, sometimes lasting months or even years.  MORE


New Whooping Crane Information Sheet

Here is a video that describes the contribution of the Crane program at the Patuxent Widlife Research Center to the restoration of a migratory flock of whooping cranes in the eastern United States. Dr. John French, Research manager and head of the Crane program, discusses the restoration project and some of the biology of cranes that underlies our restotration efforts.

See our Headlines Archive

See our Whooper Sitemap with links to our early crane and chick reports

Online Publications:

Proceedings of the Eighth North American Crane Workshop
Cranes: Their Biology, Husbandry and Conservation
Importance of Genetic Diversity in Whooping Cranes (Adobe PDF File)

See our Whooping Crane Videos!