Is this a whooping crane?

Surprise! This is not a whooping crane. It is a leucistic sandhill crane — one whose feathers did not develop the gray pigments that sandhills should have, so the feathers remain white. The dark red crown on the top of the head is that of a sandhill crane. Look at the whooping crane photo below to compare:

  • How is the red bald patch on the head of a whooping crane (below) different from a sandhill's?
  • What is another difference you see between a sandhill crane and a whooping crane?

This is not a Whooping crane: it is a leucistic sandhill crane!
leucistic sandhill crane

Photo Jeannette Parker

This is a Whooping crane. Its red crown and markings are different from those of a sandhill crane.
whooping crane
Photo NickCantu, USFWS


Journey North is pleased to feature this educational adventure made possible by the
Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership.