Whooping Crane Cam gives birds-eye view of tallest, rarest birds in North America

San Antonio Zoo has been helping critically endangered species since 70s

Take a closer look at the new whooping crane habitat at the San Antonio Zoo

SAN ANTONIO – Get a birds-eye view of the tallest and rarest birds in North America with the San Antonio Zoo Whooping Crane Cam.

The San Antonio Zoo has been trying to help this critically endangered species come “Back From the Brink” since the 1970s.

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“Back from the Brink” is the name of the whooping crane exhibit at the zoo, which is now available to watch on our 24-hour livestream.

The video stream is part of a collection of 24-hour KSAT live streams that also include views of other zoo enclosures, the San Antonio International Airport, the Bexar County Courthouse, the city skyline and more.

Whooping cranes have been documented to live more than 30 years in the wild, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Though the whooping crane population has been steadily increasing, the birds are still faced with habitat loss and overhunting.

When the bird was listed under the Endangered Species Act in 1967, only 50 of the birds existed, USFWS officials said. Of those, 43 were documented at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge and seven were in captivity.

January 2023 estimates indicated 536 whooping cranes were seen at the wildlife refuge along the Texas coast.

Whooping cranes make an annual 2,500-mile migration from Alberta’s Wood Buffalo National Park in Canada to the coastal marshes of Texas. The migration can take up to 50 days.

It is illegal to disturb the federally protected whooping cranes, and while they tend to seek out wetlands and agricultural fields, they also pass through large urban centers like Dallas-Fort Worth, Waco and Austin on their way to the Texas coast.

The efforts of the San Antonio Zoo to bring back the whooping crane from extinction were featured in “Escape from Extinction,” a conservation documentary narrated by Academy Award Winner Helen Mirren.

When you aren’t enjoying watching the Crane Cam you can report any potential sightings of the rare birds to TPWD’s Whooper Watch - a citizen-science-based reporting system that tracks whooping crane migration and wintering locations throughout Texas.