Family Cranes (Gruidae)


Whooping Crane (Grus americana)


French: Grue blanche German: Schreikranich Spanish: Grulla trompetera

Ardea americana


, 1758,

Hudson Bay, Canada




WC Canada (Wood Buffalo National Park); winters on Texas coast of Gulf of Mexico (Aransas National Wildlife Refuge).

Small experimental flock introduced in Rocky Mts, W USA; experimental non-migratory flock currently being established in Florida, SE USA.

Descriptive notes

130–160 cm; 4500–8500 g; wingspan 200–230 cm; male slightly larger than female. Tallest North American bird; pure white apart from dark red crown, dark red... read more


Calls loud and trumpet-like.


The historical breeding habitat was mainly potholes and other wetlands of northern plains and... read more

Food and feeding

Omnivorous. Summer diet includes insects, small fish, frogs, small birds and rodents, and berries. Birds reintroduced in Louisiana take at... read more


Spring breeder; eggs laid from late April to mid-May. Nesting territory averages 7·2 km², but wide range of 1·3–47... read more


Birds of the remaining wild flock migratory, as are those of the experimental Rocky Mountains flock... read more

Status and conservation

ENDANGERED. CITES I and II. Intensive conservation efforts continue to enable a slow increase in the population. By 2016/17 there were four wild populations totalling c.... read more

Recommended citation

Archibald, G.W., Meine, C.D. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2020). Whooping Crane (Grus americana). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 26 January 2020).