Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Pictured above are eleven Whooping Cranes I observed this morning in south central South Dakota. These Whooping Cranes spent the winter in Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in Texas, and are on their way to the breeding grounds in Wood Buffalo National Park in Canada. The world population of Whooping Cranes had declined to only 15 birds in 1941. Today there are approximately 384 Whooping Cranes in the wild, with another 152 birds in captivity in various zoos and research facilities. That means that the eleven whoopers in this photo are nearly three per cent of the world's wild Whooping Cranes. Amazing!