Four endangered whooping crane fledglings were released into the White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area in Louisiana on November 10, in an effort to preserve the species from extinction.
The Audubon Nature Institute, who coordinated the release, said it was their fourth year they’ve released cranes into the Louisiana wild. This year’s cranes were named Blizzard, Hurricane, Lava, and Aurora.
“These four chicks represent a major comeback for our program,” said Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center Assistant Curator Richard Dunn in a press release. “We are so pleased to have bounced back after not being able to produce eggs or release cranes during the peak of the pandemic.”
This video shows the release of the cranes into the wetlands, where the Institute said they’d spend a “few weeks” adjusting to their new environment, before joining a flock of more than 75 whooping cranes.
When the birds are adults, they will be white with a red crown. Credit: Audubon Nature Institute via Storyful