Twin Cities Ecological Services Field Office

Midwest Region


Twin Cities Field Office

4101 American Boulevard East
Bloomington, MN 55425
Phone: 612-725-3548
Fax: 612-725-3609
TTY: 1-800-877-8339 (Federal Relay)




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Whooping Crane (Grus americana)

Whooping crane

Photo by USFWS; Joel Trick


The whooping crane occurs only in North America and is North America’s tallest bird, with males approaching 1.5 m (5 ft) when standing erect. The whooping crane adult plumage is mostly snowy white except for black on the wing tips and red, black and dark gray on the head. The common name "whooping crane" probably comes from the loud, single-note call given repeatedly by the birds when they are alarmed. Whooping cranes are a long-lived species; 30 years or more in the wild. Whooping cranes currently are found in the wild at 3 locations and in captivity at 12 sites. The July 2010 total wild population was estimated at 383. There is only one self-sustaining wild population, the Aransas-Wood Buffalo National Park population, which nests in Wood Buffalo National Park and adjacent areas in Canada, and winters in coastal marshes in Texas at Aransas. In addition, there is a small captive-raised, non-migratory population in central Florida, and a small migratory population of individuals introduced beginning in 2001 that migrate between Wisconsin and Florida in an eastern migratory population. Birds from this population often spend time in Minnesota wetlands.


Whooping Crane Reintroduction Project


Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership


Species Profile (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's National Endangered Species Website)


Whooping Crane Fact Sheet



Links to sites with Whooping Crane Photos


Laura Erickson's For the Birds


National Geographic Whooping Crane Photo Gallery


International Crane Foundation Photo Gallery




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Last updated: August 6, 2015