Birds & Blooms
2. Whooping Crane
HOT SPOT: Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge, Alabama Towering at a heady 5 feet, whooping cranes are the tallest birds in North America. Even rarer in earlier years, their numbers dwindled to just 20 or so in the 1940s. Today the population is nearly 600, including 150 birds in captivity. With breeding populations in Canada’s Wood Buffalo National Park and in Wisconsin, they winter along the Texas Gulf Coast at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge and in the Southeast. You might get lucky and find one at a stopover location along these routes. Resident populations are also found locally in parts of Louisiana and Florida.