In the shrinking spaces between the nation's cities, such adaptable species of wildlife as the white-tailed deer and the meadow lark manage to thrive and multiply. Not so the whooping crane, tallest (5 ft.) of North American birds. A stately, aloof marsh dweller with white plumage, black wing tips, a cap of bare red skin atop its head and a trumpetlike cry that can be heard two miles away, the whooping crane (Grus Americana) has become for U.S. conservationists, naturalists and nature lovers a symbol of their fight to save rare species from extinction.

At last count there were exactly 27...

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