USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
The Courtship of a Whooping Crane………in Captivity

Photo Gallery (click thumbnails for larger photo) :

For those of us blessed to work with the whooping cranes at Patuxent there are a number of ways, on any given day or in any given year, we are rewarded for our dedication to their recovery. 

During a recent morning walk through of the Blue Series pens, where many whooping crane pairs reside, I could hear the birds begin their familiar symphony of unison calls.  When I listened to the cranes, I could hear one new, still unfamiliar unison call.  The sound of this call has given the crane crew much reason to smile, because it is that from a newly formed pair.

In the late fall and winter of each year, long before eggs are laid and chicks start hatching, we focus on future generations of whooping cranes.  It is during this time that we begin the process of forming new whooping crane pairs.  This is a carefully planned process, sometimes lasting months or even years.  MORE

Whoopers in the News* (updated 05/12/2008):

Birder's World Field of View -- Wisconsin Whooping Cranes abandon their nest on May 2008 -- Ultralights Guide Endangered Birds to Refuge on March 19, 2008
The Jamestown Sun -- What others think: Dialogue can help fate of birds and wind farms on March 12, 2008 -- Wind Farms Threaten Endangered Whooping Crane on February 29, 2008, Wakulla, FL -- St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge Hopes to Host Wintering Whooping Cranes on February 20, 2008, Ocala, FL -- Crane project won't put all eggs in one basket on February 16, 2008
Tallahassee Democrat, Tallahassee, FL -- Majestic cranes may make their way here on February 13, 2008
Tallahassee Democrat, Tallahassee, FL -- Whooping cranes headed to St. Marks on February 12, 2008
St. Petersburg Times, St. Petersburg, FL -- Next crane flock to be split on February 8, 2008
Winona Daily News, Winona, MN -- Wis. whooping cranes arrive at final migration stop in Florida on January 29, 2008
St. Petersburg Times, St. Petersburg, FL -- Glimpse of cranes treasured on January 28, 2008, Ocala, FL -- Crowd shows up; cranes don't on January 25, 2008
St. Petersburg Times, St. Petersburg, FL -- Bad weather scatters 4 whooping cranes on January 24, 2008
St. Petersburg Times, St. Petersburg, FL -- Cranes' flight is grounded on January 22, 2008, Ocala, FL -- High winds ground whoopers in Hamilton County on January 21, 2008, Ocala, FL -- Whooping cranes are ready for takeoff on January 19, 2008
Florida Sportsman -- Endangered Whooping Cranes Sojourn in Hamilton County on January 17, 2008
St. Petersburg Times, St. Petersburg, FL -- Rare winter visitors en route on January 17, 2008
WALB News 10, Albany, GA -- Endangered birds make a trip over south Georgia on January 14, 2008
Rockford Register Star, Rockford, IL -- Weather keeps cranes grounded in Georgia on January 11, 2008, Ocala, FL -- Whooping crane update: No flying today on January 10, 2008
Leader-Post, Regina, Saskatchewan, CA -- Scott confident in comeback of whooping crane population on January 9, 2008, Ocala, FL -- Whooping cranes back in the skies on January 8, 2008
Rome News-Tribune, Rome, GA -- Endangered cranes stop in Gordon County on January 4, 2008
Bird Life International -- Whooping Crane record broken in Texas on January 2, 2008
Chattanooga Times Free Press, Chattanooga, TN -- Rare whooping cranes stop at Hiwassee Refuge on January 1, 2008, Knoxville, TN -- Endangered whooping cranes attracting birders in Nashville on January 1, 2008
The Bismarck Tribune, Bismarck, ND-- Whooping crane flock expected to be a record on December 27, 2007
Sun Herald, Gulfport, MS -- Wildlife refuge to welcome crane on December 26, 2007
The Dallas Morning News, Dallas, TX -- Whooping crane numbers increase on December 23, 2007, Knoxville, TN -- Birds of many feathers put on show at refuge on December 23, 2007 -- Whooping Crane Makes Dramatic Comeback on December 22, 2007, Cookeville, TN -- Whooping cranes spending Christmas in Crossville on December 20, 2007
Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN -- Volunteers help direct whooping cranes in Operation Migration on December 20, 2007
WTSP, Tampa/St. Petersburg, FL -- Weather delays whooping cranes in Tennessee on December 20, 2007, Ocala, FL -- No Florida Christmas for whooping cranes on December 19, 2007
Calgary Sun, Calgary, Alberta -- Calgary cranes heading south for the winter on December 19, 2007, Ocala, FL -- Dunnellon Airport prepares to welcome new flock on December 11, 2007
Springfield State Journal-Register, Springfield, IL -- Rare whooping cranes likely first in this area since 1800s on December 9, 2007
The Beacon News, Aurora, IL -- Rare whooping cranes visit Fox Valley on December 5, 2007
The Courier-Journal, Louisville, KY -- Halloween outfit should be worth a whoop or two on December 4, 2007
WHAS 11 News, Louisville, KY -- Crane reunited with friends on November 29, 2007
The Courier-Journal, Louisville, KY -- Wayward whooping crane found alive and captured on November 28, 2007
Herald-Leader, Lexington, KY -- Wildlife teams looking for endangered crane on November 27, 2007, Rockford, IL -- Whooping crane separates from the flock, goes missing on November 26, 2007
WHAS 11 News, Louisville, KY -- Whooping crane migration on November 25, 2007
The Kansas City Star, Kansas City, KS -- Kansas a stopover site for traveling whoopers on November 22, 2007
The Dearborn County Register, Lawrenceburg, IN -- Last chance to 'whoop' it up in Ind.? on November 21, 2007
News Tribune Online, La Salle, IL -- Rare cranes stop over in La Salle County on November 8, 2007, Rockford, IL -- Whooping cranes leave on whopper of a trip on November 3, 2007, Rockford, IL -- Cranes rest here on annual flight from Wisconsin to Florida on November 2, 2007
Portage Daily Register, WI -- Taking flight with whooping crane expert on November 1, 2007


*Note: these articles may only be posted for a limited time.

See our Headlines Archive

See our Whooper Sitemap with links to our early crane and chick reports

Online Publications:

Proceedings of the Eighth North American Crane Workshop
Cranes: Their Biology, Husbandry and Conservation
Importance of Genetic Diversity in Whooping Cranes (Adobe PDF File)

See our Whooping Crane Videos!