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Non-profit organizations, individuals and government agencies joining forces to bring a migratory population of whooping cranes back to eastern North America


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What To Do if You See Whooping Cranes  

Report Whooping Crane Observations - Whooping Crane Reporting Website.


If you encounter a whooping crane in the wild, please give them the respect and distance they need. Do not approach birds on foot within 200 yards; remain in your vehicle; do not approach in a vehicle any closer than 100 yards. Also, please remain concealed and do not speak loudly enough that the birds can hear you. Finally, do not trespass on private property in an attempt to view or photograph whooping cranes.


Joe Duff, the project's lead ultralight pilot, said it best during an interview: "Although we take special precautions to ensure these birds are reared in isolation from human contact, they are still far from wild. Their return to nature takes place over months but could be destroyed by one curious onlooker. Despite good intentions the best thing an observer could do for these birds and this project is to observe from a distance. The worst thing you could do is attempt to feed them. "


Each exposure lessens the whooping cranes’ natural fear of humans, which is an important survival mechanism. Feeding the whooping cranes can result in the birds becoming dependent on humans as a source of food. Both would negate the many long hours biologists, veterinarians, pilots and volunteers endured in hot costumes and silence while raising and caring for these whooping cranes.


Reporting Whooping Crane Sightings for WCEP Trackers

We would appreciate you reporting your sighting on our online website at https://www.savingcranes.org/report-whooping-crane/. Thank you!


Reporting Whooping Crane Sightings to Others (on ListServs, Partner Facebook pages, etc.)

When Whooping Cranes are present at the following nine sites, the name of the Refuge or park may be used on birding lists and on social media sites, however no other location information more specific than the name of the property should be used. When whooping cranes are present at other sites, only the birds’ county-level location should be shared.  



  1. Necedah National Wildlife Refuge
  2. Horicon National Wildlife Refuge
  3. White River Marsh State Wildlife Area


  1. Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge
  2. St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge
  3. Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park


  1. Hiwassee State Wildlife Refuge, TN
  2. Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge, AL
  3. Goose Pond State Fish & Wildlife Area, IN