DIANA'S BLOG



Endangered Whooping Cranes on the Platte River, Nebraska

I saw my first endangered Whooping Crane several years ago on the Platte River in Nebraska when I was out photographing the migrating Sandhill Cranes as I do every March. It was pretty easy to spot because its white feathers stood out against the much grayer color of the the Sandhill Cranes. It was also much taller (about five feet tall) than the already tall Sandhill Cranes (three and a half to four feet tall). In fact, the Whooping Crane is the tallest bird in North America. I was able to record some video of the Whooping Crane at that time and very happy to have seen it in the wild. I’m not sure if the Whooping Cranes are doing better on the whole but for the past three years now I have seen several on the Platte River and in the cornfields during the Sandhill Crane migration in Nebraska. I have seen single cranes and no pairs. Numbers vary but there are approximately 531 Whooping Cranes in the wild and 757 in the entire world.

Although funding has been cut for research leading to the Whooping crane reintroduction to the wild and Hurricane Harvey had a deadly impact on Whooping Crane habitat, the cranes seem to be holding their own for now. I am pleased to say that I have seen several since I have been in Nebraska this March for the Sandhill Crane migration. Here are a few shots I was able to take.


Whooping crane (Grus americana) in flight above the Platte River, Nebraska


Whooping crane (Grus americana) having an altercation with a Sandhill Crane in a cornfield near the Platte River, Nebraska


An endangered Whooping Crane in a field with Sandhill Cranes in Nebraska


An endangered Whooping crane (Grus americana) in flight with a Sandhill Crane (Grus canadensis) above the Platte River in Nebraska


An endangered Whooping crane (Grus americana) in a field with Sandhill Cranes (Grus canadensis) near the Platte River in Nebraska


An endangered Whooping crane (Grus americana) taking flight in a field with Sandhill Cranes (Grus canadensis) near the Platte River in Nebraska


An endangered Whooping crane (Grus americana) in flight near the Platte River in Nebraska

Hopefully there will be many more Whooping Cranes photos to come.

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