The class got an exclusive tour with one of our teaching assistants, Matt, who actually works for ICF. He gave us an overview of each species, told little anecdotes about the pairs that no one else would know, and outlined any cultural significance the species may have. Many of these cranes are pictured in their culture's stories and illustrations. You can find out more about each of the species by clicking the links below, which will take you to the ICF species pages.
Black Crowned Crane
|Female (left) and Male (right) Sandhill Crane at |
the Aldo Leopold Nature Center
Grey Crowned Crane
The two types of Cranes we have in Wisconsin are Sandhill and Whooping Cranes. While Sandhill Cranes were once endangered, they are now plentiful and inhabit Wisconsin between the months of March and October. In fact, they are the must abundant species of crane in the world. You have likely seen or heard these beautiful birds near your home. Pairs will frequently use the same site for nesting year after year, and the Aldo Leopold Nature Center has a resident pair of its own! If you have noticed cranes in the same area many years in a row, it could be the same pair; they know that that area has allowed them to safely raise their chick(s), and trust it to be safe in the future.
|Whooping Crane on Nest, ICF|
|Whooping Cranes, ICF|
Many of the cranes are quite vocal individuals, and throughout the morning we heard them calling. What's interesting about cranes (and some other species of birds, as well) is that they do what is called a "unison call." This involves both the male and female calling at once. The pitches of their voices are different, and the combination of the two creates a cool, unique sound.
If you're looking for something fun and educational to do this summer, why not go to Baraboo, and see all 15 of the world's crane species in one day! For hours, directions, and prices, click here.
Nature Net Intern