Whooping cranes like water. They live nearly all of their lives in wetlands and prefer marsh habitat and the food that is found there. They are omnivorous (eat plants & animals). In the summer, in the northern part of their range, they eat mollusks and crustaceans, insects, minnows, frogs, and snakes. They also like to eat barley and wheat when it's available.
Along the migration route, cranes eat and roost in a wide variety of habitats like croplands, freshwater marshes, the edges of lakes and reservoirs, and submerged sandbars in rivers.
In winter, cranes hang out in estuarine marshes (where the sea meets the mouth of a river) and tidal flats in the Gulf of Mexico, Louisiana, Texas, and the Atlantic coast. They like salt grass, cordgrass, and other aquatic plants. Whoopers eat blue crabs, clams, fiddler crabs, shrimp, and other aquatic invertebrates, small vertebrates, plants, acorns, snails, insects, and rodents.
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