Native to North America, the
whooping crane stands 5 feet tall, with a long neck and long legs.
Its pure white body feathers are accented by jet-black wing tips
and a red and black head, with a long, pointed beak.
The wings are about 8 feet across.
Fewer than 20 whooping
cranes were alive in 1940. A
loss of their habitat, egg collecting, and hunting almost led to their
extinction. Now a flock of
188 whooping cranes breeds in northwestern Canada and spends the winter on
the Texas coast. About 50
whooping cranes are part of a newly established flock in Florida and about
100 whooping cranes are in captivity.
Conservation efforts, scientific research and changes in land
management led to this increase in numbers.
Biologists at the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center began a captive breeding program from 12 eggs collected from the wild in 1967. The Patuxent flock has 44 adults, including nine experienced pairs, who lay about 50 eggs per year. Patuxent biologists raised about 26 chicks last year, most of which were released in Florida.
Hatch Day (Click on numbered links to view egg (negative numbers) and chick days).
To check on updates after day 14, go to whooper's