Eco Trips & Trails
Rare Bird At Sylvan Heights Bird Park
Sylvan Heights Bird Park is now one of only a handful of places in North America where you can see a rare and endangered Whooping Crane up close and personal. Whooping Cranes are the rarest of the 15 crane species.
Hatched this spring at the International Crane Foundation in Wisconsin, the young male Whooping Crane incurred a leg injury and was deemed non-releasable back into the wild.
The Whooping Crane is the only crane species native to North America. Standing between four and five feet tall, they are magnificent birds with snowy white plumage, except for a brilliant red cap on the top of their heads. The Whooping Crane has black facial markings and black primary feathers, which are clearly visible in flight. They have long, spear-like beaks and fierce golden eyes. The adult Whooping Crane can be formidable when protecting its young.
Once widespread throughout North America, habitat loss and unregulated hunting in the late 1800s decimated Whooping Crane populations, and only one wild flock now exists. In 1942, this flock consisted of only sixteen individual birds. Now, through conservation efforts, the number of wild Whooping Cranes has increased to just over 500.
Sylvan Heights Bird Park, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization is dedicated to educating people about the importance of conservation and research focusing on waterfowl and wetland habitats. The Waterfowl Park is a unique facility with continent-themed exhibits that offer visitors views of some of the world’s most endangered waterfowl and other rare and exotic birds. Sylvan Heights Bird Park is open Tuesday through Sunday 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
added: February 1, 2010
updated: December 19, 2011