| 30 sec read | by Doug Marrin, firstname.lastname@example.org |
A rare Whooping Crane has been hanging around Chelsea State Game Area and has been spotted from Dexter-Chelsea Road.
The whooping crane, along with the sandhill crane, is one of only two crane species found in North America. It is the tallest North American bird. Unregulated hunting and loss of habitat due to development put the large white birds on the edge of extinction until there were only 21 wild and two captive whooping cranes by 1941.
Conservation efforts have created a slow comeback with the total number of cranes in the surviving wild population and three reintroduced flocks in captivity now exceeding 800 birds.
The whooping crane lives in Canada and the upper midwest but is a snowbird in that it spends its winters in the warm marshes along the gulf coast.
The large white whooping crane has been spotted from Dexter-Chelsea Road in an open field a few hundred yards west of the railroad tracks.
You can find local photos better than mine at eBird Washtenaw County Rare Bird Alert.