An eagle took one of the two chicks that hatched.
But it never should have returned for the second. The whooper parents gave
that eagle a terrible stomping. Gene watched the whole thing and later had
to call a wildlife rehabilitator to come pick up the eagle.
The last whooping crane birth in Florida was back
around 1939. This 21st century Leesburg chick has grown now to
the same height as his father and is a strong flyer. Biologists from
Florida and US environmental agencies and all the NGOs in the Whooping Crane
Eastern Partnership are delighted by the success so far. Of the fifteen
crane species in the world, whooping cranes are most at risk. Less then 400
are known to be alive. As fate would have it, this first chick fledged in
Florida is actually related to the crane known as Canus (Canada / US), the
crane biologists used to start the endangered species program in the early
Leesburg is about an hour’s drive from Sanford.
For updates on “Lucky” visit the Bird Links section of our web site.