Whooping Crane - International Crane Foundation

International Crane Foundation



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Whooping Crane

Grus americana

HEIGHT: ~ 152 cm, 5 ft
WEIGHT: ~ 7 – 8 kg; 15 – 17 lb
POPULATION: 802 (captive and wild)
TREND: Increasing
STATUS: IUCN: EN; ESA: E, EX; Cites Appendix I


The Whooping Crane is the tallest bird in North America.


Adults – red patch on forehead, black mustache and legs, black wing tips visible in flight; juveniles – cinnamon-brown feathers

Did you see a banded Whooping Crane? Click here to report your sighting.

Download FREE Whooping Crane images.


Two distinct migratory populations summer in northwestern Canada and central Wisconsin and winter along the Gulf Coast of Texas and the southeastern United States, respectively. Small, non-migratory populations live in central Florida and coastal Louisiana.

Click to view range map

View the Where are the Whoopers interactive map to view the last known location of cranes in the Eastern Migratory Population. AND take a tour through our interactive story map and learn about a few of our favorite locations for viewing cranes in the United States.


Plant tubers, blue crabs, small mammals, amphibians, reptiles, insects.


Loud, rattling kar-r-r-o-o-o. Listen to Whooping Crane calls:

Contact Call | A soft, purring call expressing reassurance and location.

Guard Call | A sharp, single call expressing alarm.

Unison Call | A duet performed by a pair, to strengthen their bond and protect their territory.


Loss or deterioration of critical wetland habitat – including reduced fresh water on wintering grounds in Texas, sea-level rise, low genetic diversity, power line collisions, predation, disturbance at nest sites, illegal shootings.


With creativity and dedication, we are bringing the Whooping Crane back from the brink of extinction. Click on the links below to explore how we are protecting Whooping Cranes and learn how YOU can get involved:


A future where Whooping Crane populations are safe and secure in the wild is possible, but we need your help! If you give a whoop (and we know you do!) click here to join thousands of others who are making a difference for Whooping Cranes.

see_how_they_grow_300Click here to learn more (for kids – and adults too!)