29¢ Whooping Crane
Issue Date: October 9, 1994
City: Washington, DC
Printed By: Banknote Corporation of America
Printing Method: Lithographed and engraved
Perforations: 10.8 x 11
There are 15 species of cranes worldwide, but only two are native to North America – the whooping crane and the sandhill crane. The tallest bird in North America, the whooping crane stands up to 5 feet tall and has a wingspan that measures between 7 and 8 feet. Also known as whoopers, their loud resonant call can be heard up to two miles away.
Native to the northern United States, whooping cranes migrate south during the winter. In the spring, they return north to their nesting grounds where they build their nests in the shallow water of a marsh or swamp. Together, male and female cranes share the task of raising the young.
Flocks of whooping cranes once nested on the open prairies of the U.S. and Canada; however, as encroaching settlers disturbed their nesting grounds, the birds began to die out. By 1954 only one flock of 21 birds remained.
Today laws protect the whooping crane and its habitat. Having been successfully bred in captivity it is once again beginning to thrive in the wild. But although there are currently more than 250 whooping cranes living in the wild, they still remain one of the rarest birds on the North American continent.