Where are the wild Whooping Cranes and what are they doing?

by Chester McConnell, Friends of the Wild Whoopers

Where are the Wild Whooping Cranes?

Wild Whooping Cranes are now on Wood Buffalo National Park, Canada. They arrived there during late April and May after migrating 2,500 miles from Aransas Refuge on the Texas coast. Each nesting pair located their nesting site which is normally in the same general area as past years. Park records show that several pairs have nested in the same areas for 22 consecutive years. Soon after their arrival on their nesting grounds, they build their nest. Nesting surveys completed to-date indicates that 78 Whooping Crane nests have been observed.

Wild Whooping Cranes

Whooping Crane on nest in Wood Buffalo National Park, Canada. Photo by Klaus Nigge

Their nesting territories vary in size but average about 1,500 acres. Whooping Cranes guard their territories and nesting neighbors normally locate their nest at least one-half mile away. Nests are normally constructed in shallow water. Vegetation from the local area is used to construct nest.

Wild Whooping Cranes nesting information

Eggs are usually laid in late April to mid-May. Normally two eggs are laid but occasionally only one and rarely three have been observed in nests. Incubation begins when the first egg is laid. Incubation occurs for about 30 days. Because incubation starts when the first egg is laid, the first chick hatched is about two days older than the second hatched. This difference in age is substantial and creates problem for the younger chick. It is weaker than the older chick and has difficulty keeping up as the adults move around searching for food. The younger chick often dies due to its weakness. Records indicate that only about 10% to 15% of the second chicks hatched survive. Importantly, the second egg plays an important role in providing insurance that at least one chick survives.

From the time Whoopers begin egg laying until their chicks are a few months old, the family groups remain in their breeding territory. They feed there and don’t move long distances until after their chicks fledge.

Wild Whooping Cranes

Whooping Crane Family on Wood Buffalo National Park, Canada. Photo by Klaus Nigge

Friends of the Wild Whoopers will publish an update of the ongoing Whooping Crane chick reproduction and related activities soon.

friendsofthewildwhoopers.org logo

friendsofthewildwhoopers.org

***** FOTWW’s mission is to help preserve and protect the Aransas/Wood Buffalo
population of wild whooping cranes and their habitat. *****
Friends of the Wild Whoopers is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization.

 

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Share

Wild Whooping Cranes Need Your Support

Military Base project continuing

Friends of the Wild Whoopers is continuing to work with military bases to protect and improve Whooping Crane “stopover habitats”. These habitats are essential along the seven state Whooping Crane migration corridor. “Stopover habitats” allow the cranes to stop and rest during their 2,500 mile migration from Canada to the Texas coast.

Stopover habitats are being lost on private lands due to continuing development. Fortunately the U.S. military teamed up with us to help develop stopover habitats on military lands. To date we have been most successful with the stopover habitat project.

Your assistance needed

Now, we need assistance to continue traveling to the military installations. Our staff has been personally paying for travel and not asking for reimbursement. Thankfully one person who believes in our “stopover habitat” project did pay for our recent travel expenses to Oklahoma and Kansas.  We believe many of you will also be willing to chip in to help cover travel costs.

Help us to help the wild Whooping Cranes!

Wild Whooping Cranes


Sizes



To send your donation by check or money order and to receive your shirt(s), please print out and send your FOTWW Donation/Shirt Form along with your donation to the address on the form. Make check or money order payable to: “Friends of the Wild Whoopers” and mail it to the address on the form.

Postage and handling anywhere in the U.S. is $7.00. Canada and other nations will be determined by Postal service. Please send us an email at admin@fotww.org

Thank you to everyone for your support.
FOTWW

friendsofthewildwhoopers.org logo

friendsofthewildwhoopers.org

***** FOTWW’s mission is to help preserve and protect the Aransas/Wood Buffalo
population of wild whooping cranes and their habitat. *****
Friends of the Wild Whoopers is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization.