The Whooping Crane is the most famous endangered bird in North America. In part because it is large, distinctive, and photogenic and partly because, since 1967, Canadians and Americans have cooperated in a successful recovery program to safeguard it from extinction.
In flight, Whooping cranes can be distinguished from other large white birds by the long neck extended forward and legs that trail equally straight behind. Whooping cranes communicate vocally with each other even while flying, using flight calls. Birds often confused with the Whooping Crane are American White Pelican, Tundra Swan, and Lesser Snow Goose. All three species are mostly or entirely white but, in flight, none has long legs trailing behind.
In order to not let the cranes human imprint, the team dawns gear so the cranes can not see their faces and they work by means of no speech and only hand signals.
You'll be able to follow the training of the cranes leading up to their first migration south. A journey that which will be broadcast LIVE and in-flight, you'll be up in the air with the cranes!
The cam is operating from 4am to 11pm Central time and will continue to do so until the cranes depart on their first migration with the aircraft in mid-October. From that time, they will switch to the TrikeCam and broadcast LIVE directly from inside the aircraft. On days when weather prevents the team and the cranes from advancing they will set it up as a static camera from the travel enclosure.
Recovery Efforts next page
International Whooping Crane Recovery Team
The Whooping Crane Recovery Team (WCRT) is the governing body charged with responsibility of the species. Consisting of ten members: five Americans and five Canadians the team of ornithologists and biologists provide policy recommendations to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and Canadian Wildlife Service. Primarily, the team plans actions to protect the Aransas/Wood Buffalo natural flock and to establish two additional flocks in efforts to safeguard the whooping crane from possible extinction.
The team's efforts to establish a non-migratory Whooping crane flock began in Florida in 1993, using cranes hatched in captivity. In September, 1999, after searching for the best possible location to establish a second migratory flock, the team recommended that the flock be taught a migration route with central Wisconsin as the northern terminus and the west coast of Florida as the new wintering location. The WCRT sanctioned Operation Migration's ultralight-led migration technique as the main reintroduction method.