BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — One of Louisiana's oldest whooping cranes hatched her first chicks this year, and 24 mating pairs nearly doubled the state's previous record for the critically endangered birds.
But state biologists say that while 14 hatchlings made it out of eggs, only four survived. They include both chicks from eggs laid by the female dubbed L7-11. She was among 10 birds released as youngsters in 2011 to start a new flock in Louisiana.
There are only about 800 whooping cranes in the world. All are descended from about 15 that survived hunters and habitat loss in a flock that migrates between Texas and Alberta, Canada.