Best 10 Whooping Crane Facts, Weight, Behavior, Diet

Whooping Crane:

Whooping crane is the tallest bird of North America. It is the most spectacular bird having white plumage, yellow eyes and red cap. It belongs to endangered species. It is a rare bird and well known for its unique features.

Whooping Crane Scientific name: 

Scientific name of whooping crane is “Grus americana”.

Other names: 

Whooping crane is also called as “Grulla trompetera” and “Grue blanche”.

Whooping Crane Size and Shape: 

  • Whooping cranes are very tall, having long necks and legs.
  • Overall body is slender but widens while bustling.
  • The bill is straight.
  • The wings become broad during flight.
  • On an average their size is about 4.9 feet.

Whooping Crane Weight

  • Average weight of a whooping crane is about 13 to 17 pounds.
  • Male whooping cranes have more weight as compared to females.

Whooping Crane Wingspan

The distance between the ends of the wings of the whooping crane is 230 centimeters.

Whooping Crane Physical description/Appearance: 

  1. Whooping cranes appear white in colour.
  2. Primary wing feathers and legs are black coloured.
  3. Toes are gray in colour.
  4. Eyes are yellow coloured.
  5. Bill is purplish-gray in colour.
  6. They have red cap.
  7. However, young whooping cranes are usually brown in colour.

Whooping Crane Behavior

  1. Whooping cranes are non-nocturnal.
  2. They settle on the ground at night for rest.
  3. They are territorial.
  4. They are motile.
  5. They are migratory species.
  6. They move with the help of walking and flying.
  7. The whooping crane can glide, flap or soar during flight.
  8. Young chicks exhibit swimming.

Whooping Crane

Whooping Crane Diet

  • Whooping cranes are omnivores.
  • Their diet includes blue crabs, wolfberry fruits, grasshoppers, snakes, insects, frogs, crayfish etc.

Whooping Crane Breeding: 

  1. Whooping cranes start breeding at the age of two or three years.
  2. They are monogamous i.e. have sexual relationship with one partner at a time.
  3. Their courtship behaviors include synchronization in their walks and calls i.e. unison walk, unison call. Courtship dance is also courtship behavior.
  4. The process begins with dancing by hopping and flapping of the wings by both the individuals until they become synchronized.
  5. This process also includes jumping of male whooping crane over the female.
  6. Whooping cranes have a seasonal breeding pattern.
  7. They start nesting at about four years of their age.
  8. Female lays two eggs.
  9. Incubation period is approximately 35 days.
  10. Parents then start taking care of the young ones.

Whooping Crane Habitat

  1. Whooping cranes have habitat in areas having proper amount of water and vegetation.
  2. They start their nesting process in marsh area, shallow ponds and lakes.

Whooping Crane Communication: 

  1. The whooping cranes use vocal communication.
  2. Certain calls include unison calls, flight calls, hissing etc.
  3. Whooping cranes detect their surroundings by the help of auditory, tactual, visual and chemical stimuli.

Whooping Crane Predation: 

There are two types of predators i.e. terrestrial and aerial predators that cause the predation of whooping cranes.

  • Some of the terrestrial predators are gray wolves, bobcats etc.
  • Aerial predators include golden eagles.

Whooping Crane Threats

The biggest threat to the survival of whooping cranes is loss of wetlands.

Whooping Crane Conservation status: 

The conservation status of whooping crane is “Endangered”.

  • They are more likely to extinct in near future.

Relationship between whooping cranes and humans: 

  • Whooping cranes are considered as the contributors for wildlife conservation.
  • They help in promoting ecotourism.

Whooping Crane Lifespan: 

The average lifespan of whooping crane is 22 to 30 years.

Whooping Crane Habitat: 

Whooping cranes are the tallest birds of North America.

  • Their habitat includes areas having surplus amount of water and vegetation.
  • Marsh areas, Shallow lakes and ponds are used for nesting purposes.

Whooping Crane Facts: 

Some of the facts about whooping cranes are

  1. Whooping crane is the tallest bird of North America.
  2. Its scientific name is Grus americana.
  3. Whooping crane is also called as Grulla trompetera and Grue blanche.
  4. Average weight is 13 to 17 pounds.
  5. Average size is 4.9 feet.
  6. Average wingspan is 230cm.
  7. Overall body is slender.
  8. They have white plumages, yellow eyes and red cap.
  9. They are endangered species.
  10. They are non-nocturnal, territorial, motile and migratory species.
  11. They are omnivorous and monogamous.
  12. Their habitat is wetland.
  13. They use vocal communication.
  14. Average lifespan is 22 to 30 years.

Whooping Crane Migration: 

Whooping cranes breed primarily in Northwest Territories and Alberta. In primary breeding grounds, they choose their mates. They migrate to Texas when summer ends.

Whooping Crane Population 2021: 

  • Whooping cranes are endangered species.
  • International crane foundation (ICF) recorded 800 whooping cranes recently.
  • They have made a great comeback.

Whooping Crane Adaptations:

Following are some adaptations of whooping cranes

  1. They are the tallest.
  2. They can fly at greater distances.
  3. They can glide, flap or soar during flight.
  4. Their bones are hollow that are filled with air. This makes them strong so that they are able to fly high.
  5. The young whooping cranes can swim for short distances.

Whooping Crane Appearance: 

Whooping cranes are the tallest birds in North America.

  1. They usually appear white.
  2. Legs and primary wing feathers are black.
  3. Eyes are yellow and bill is purplish.
  4. Their cap is red.
  5. Young chicks are brown in colour.

Whooping Crane Baby: 

  1. The baby whooping cranes are called as “colts”.
  2. They have long legs.
  3. Whooping cranes breed once a year when they reach two or three years of their age.
  4. Unison calls, hissing, courtship dancing are some courtship behaviors.
  5. Female lays two eggs.
  6. Nesting starts at fourth year.
  7. Proper care to the young one should be provided.

Whooping Crane Characteristics: 

Some of the characteristics of whooping cranes are

  • They are the tallest birds of North America.
  • They are endangered.
  • They are monogamous and omnivorous.
  • They have white plumages, yellow eyes and red cap.
  • They have average size of about 4.9 feet, average weight of about 17 pounds and wingspan of about 230cm.

Whooping Crane

Whooping Crane Classification:

Whooping cranes are the tallest birds of North America.

  • They belong to kingdom “Animalia”.
  • Phylum is “Chordata”.
  • Class is “Aves”.
  • Order is “Gruiformes”.
  • Family is “Gruidae”.
  • Genus is “Grus”.
  • Species is “G.americana”.


The tallest birds of North America having usual white appearance, black legs, purplish bill, yellow eyes and red cap are called as whooping cranes. They are endangered, exhibit courtship dancing and gliding flight. They are extremely awe inspiring and well known for their unique features.

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