Whooping Cranes Make A Comeback in Texas

In 1944 there were only 21 whooping cranes in the entire world.  18 of those spent winters on the Texas coast near the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge.  In 2009 wildlife officials in Texas are hoping that as many as 285 whoopers will winter in Texas, bringing the worldwide population (including those in captivity) to around 540 whooping cranes.  The summer of 2008 a record 66 whooping carne nests were documented in Canada.  Whooping cranes seem to be making a slow, steady comeback.  The live long lives, up to 25 years.  They are the tallest birds in North America standing over 4 feet tall.  Whooping cranes are solid white and fly with their necks and legs outstretched revealing distinct black wing tops.  A small marking of black feathers and red skin on their heads further identifies the whooping crane.  During migration they travel in small groups of less than 6 birds and often pause for a single night often in Dallas, Waco and Austin.  Whooping cranes are protected by federal and state endangered species law.  

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