whooping crane

whooping crane


Whooping crane (Grus americana).—H. William Belknap

Migratory North American bird (Grus americana) and one of the world's rarest birds, on the verge of extinction. The tallest North American bird, it is almost 5 ft (150 cm) tall and has a wingspread of about 7 ft (210 cm). It is white with black-tipped wings, black legs, and a bare red face and crown. Its shrill, whooping call can be heard for 2 miles (3 km). Almost exterminated in the early 20th century, it became the object of intensive conservation efforts; by century's end there were still fewer than 300 wild and captive individuals. See also sandhill crane.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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