Whooping Crane

Image of Whooping Crane

The recovery of the Whooping Crane is a conservation success story, but one that is still ongoing. This crane is our tallest bird and one of the most endangered, with only several hundred birds left in the wild (most of which migrate between Canada and Texas). A small, nonmigratory flock was reintroduced to central Florida by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission in the early 1990s, but this population is not yet self-sustaining. Every fall since 2001, experimental, migratory flocks raised in Wisconsin have been led southward by ultralight aircraft to the Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge in Citrus and Hernando Counties to overwinter. The project is working and a new migratory flock is being reintroduced to St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge in Wakulla County. As of June 2013 there were 104 cranes in the eastern U.S. migratory population.

Recommended GFBWT sites:

West Section

East Section


Information on Operation Migration and the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership.

For more information, including a range map and sound recording, visit The Cornell Lab of Ornithology's All About Birds website.



Bird's habitat

Winters in Florida in open habitats, such as prairies, marshes, fields and edges of shallow lakes.

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