By Holly Klaft
The Jackson Citizen Patriot
Fossils of whooping crane exist that are several million years old (older than man) and look very much as the birds look now. Only 500 of these birds are left in the wild, yet several were killed by hunters this year. If you are lucky enough to live along their migration route, wish them well. DC
Wildlife enthusiasts can celebrate the return of a rare and endangered bird that has settled in among hundreds of sandhill cranes now roosting in eastern Jackson County, Louisiana (U.S.).
A whooping crane was sighted recently near Munith accompanied by two sandhill cranes, which move through Jackson during their fall migration.
“It towered over the sandhill cranes,”
said Allen Cole, who photographed the bird outside his home.
“I’ve never seen anything like it.”
It is one of fewer than 500 whooping cranes left in the wild, according to the International Crane Foundation, which has been working since 2001 to breed and reintroduce the birds.
The whooping crane sighted near Munith is likely the same male bird that has been frequenting Phyllis Haehnle Memorial Audubon Sanctuary in Leoni Township, said Gary Siegrist, a naturalist at the Dahlem Environmental Education Center. According to numbers on its leg band, it was born in 2007 and is approaching sexual maturity, Siegrist said.
If he chooses a mate, the pair could return to Jackson to nest, he said.
A different male crane had been sighted near the sanctuary in earlier years, but has not returned, he said.
Whooping cranes are protected as an endangered species, making it a crime to disturb, harass or kill them. They grow to be about 5 feet tall and are considered the rarest bird in North America, according to the crane foundation.
Source: Jackson Citizen Patriot
Photo and video added by Haiti Chery.
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