Discover 2 Types of Cranes in Alabama (2023)

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Cranes are one of the most interesting and beautiful birds in Alabama. They actually bring joy to people’s faces. Their attractive color is jaw-dropping for most of the people.

You can easily find two types of cranes in Alabama. One is Sandhill Cranes and the other is Whooping Cranes. Sandhill Cranes are common in this state while whooping cranes are less common because they are endangered species.

Don’t worry I give you accurate information about these two types of cranes found in this state. I deeply researched the Alabma official website and all the resources taken from the Alabma website.

Related: Discover 2 Types of Cranes in Michigan

Where can I see cranes in Alabama?

You can see cranes in Alabama, especially sandhill cranes and whooping cranes.

They stay in places like Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge, Weiss Reservoir, Lake Guntersville, and Crane Creek National Wildlife Refuge.

The best time to spot them is in the morning or late afternoon. Remember to watch them from a distance and stick to designated paths.

What is the white crane in Alabama?

The white crane you might see in Alabama is likely the Whooping Crane. This is an endangered species and one of the rarest cranes in the world.

They have beautiful white plumage with black wingtips. They also have a red crown and long legs.

Whooping cranes spend their winters in parts of Alabama, particularly at places like Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge. Seeing them is quite special because they are very rare and need protection.

Are there cranes in Alabama?

Yes, there are cranes in Alabama. One type you might find there is the sandhill crane, which can be seen in wet areas during its migration.

The other type is whooping crane. Whooping Cranes are the most endangered crane species that are also found in North Alabama.

1. Sandhill Cranes in Alabama

Sandhill Cranes are one of the most common types of cranes in Alabama. Alabama is home to almost 20,000 Sandhill Cranes.

You can easily spot them in this state. They are very social birds and often travel in flocks. They are also known for their loud trumpeting calls.

Sandhill Cranes Size

Sandhill cranes are large birds, standing about 4 feet tall and weighing up to 15 pounds. They have long necks and legs. They spend their wingspan up to 7 feet.

Sandhill Cranes Diet

Sandhill cranes are omnivores and eat a variety of foods. They mostly eat insects, small mammals, fish, grains, seeds, insects, small mammals, amphibians, and even some plants.

They are known for their loud trumpeting calls, which they use to communicate with each other.

Sandhill Cranes Migration

Sandhill cranes are migratory birds and travel long distances between their breeding and wintering grounds.

The sandhill cranes in Alabama migrate to the state from their breeding grounds in Canada and the northern United States.

They typically arrive in Alabama in November and leave in March.

Where to See them in Alabama?

The best place to see sandhill cranes in Alabama is at Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge. Other places where you might be able to see sandhill cranes include:

Sandhill Cranes Population in Alabama (2023)

There are an estimated 20,000 sandhill cranes in Alabama during the winter months. The largest concentration of sandhill cranes in the state is at Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge.

2. Endangered Whooping Cranes in Alabama

Whooping Cranes are one of the most endangered crane species in the world right now. They are the rarest birds in North America. You can luckily find these cranes only in North Alabama.

If you are an Alabaman or just visit Alabama you can see them each year from November to March, especially in North Alabama.

These cranes most likely spend their winters in Alabama, including locations like Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge. Protecting their habitat and respecting their space is crucial for their survival.

Whooping Cranes Size

Whooping cranes are among the tallest birds in North America. They can grow up to 5 feet (1.5 meters) tall. Their wingspan can reach up to 7.5 feet (2.3 meters).

Whooping Cranes Diet

Whooping cranes primarily feed on a diet of small aquatic animals, insects, frogs, small fish, and aquatic plants. They forage in wetlands and shallow waters.

Whooping Cranes Migration

Whooping cranes are known for their impressive long-distance migrations. They breed in Canada and migrate to the southern United States, including Alabama, for the winter. The journey can cover thousands of miles and involves several stopover points.

Whooping Cranes Population in Alabama 2023

By March 2023, around 18 whooping cranes will be in Alabama for the winter. Most are at Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge, while some are in other spots in the Tennessee River Valley.

The number of whooping cranes in Alabama has risen. In 2022, there were about 15, up from 10 in 2019.

Where can I see Whooping cranes in Alabama?

The top spot to see whooping cranes in Alabama is Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge, about an hour north of Birmingham. Around 18 cranes are there from November to March.

Other potential places include Weiss Reservoir, Lake Guntersville, the Tennessee River near Decatur, and Crane Creek National Wildlife Refuge. Remember, respect the birds and stay on trails.


Cranes play a big role in Alabama’s ecosystem. They help control bugs and spread seeds. The main crane types are sandhill and whooping cranes. Sandhill ones are common in winter near the Tennessee River Valley. Whooping cranes are rare but visit Alabama.

For crane watching, winter is best. Find them at spots like Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge. Be kind to them and their homes, stay on paths, and don’t get too close.

Resources:, (some important resources from this site)

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