The Hemisphere: Vanishing Aristocrat

The whooping crane (Grus americana) is the tallest bird in North America. Depending on how proudly it holds its long neck, it can stand from four to six feet. It is also probably the noisiest bird; its elongated windpipe so amplifies its hysterical cry that it can be heard two miles away. Pure white, except for some black wing and head feathers and reddish-brown head spots, it is one of the most beautiful of birds. In flight, its wingspread is seven feet; on the ground, it walks haughtily through marshes in search of frogs and snakes, or performs its pre-mating dance...

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