According to the National Wildlife Federation, whooping cranes have an omnivore's diet that includes crustaceans, small fish, insects, amphibians, reptiles, grains, marsh plants and acorns. They live in locations with significant water sources, such as wetlands, marshes, mudflats, wet prairies and fields.
Whooping cranes once lived throughout the American Midwest and northwest Canada. They spent winters on the Gulf Coast. However, during the 19th and early 20th centuries, habitat loss and excessive hunting depleted their numbers severely. In 1941 only 15 cranes remained. This flock migrated between Alberta, Canada, and coastal Texas. Conservation groups and governments cooperated to protect the whooping cranes, and by 2005 there were 214 of the birds.