Cranes Over Illinois

Illinois is home to the Sandhill Crane and the endangered Whooping Crane. In the 1940s both Sandhill Cranes and Whooping Cranes reached drastically low population sizes. Today Sandhill Cranes are one of the most populous cranes in the world and there are over 650 wild Whooping Cranes, around 76 of which will migrate through northern Illinois each year. While their population numbers are growing, both Whooping cranes and Sandhill cranes continue to face threats.

Join Stephanie Schmidt, Whooping Crane Outreach Coordinator for the International Crane Foundation, to learn about the cranes of Illinois. Following this presentation, you will be able to identify Sandhill Cranes and Whooping Cranes, know the history of both crane species, the habitats they use, and the threats they face, understand the current work crane conservation partners are doing to protect cranes in Illinois and throughout their flyways, and find out how you can be an ambassador for cranes in Illinois.


About Our Speaker

Stephanie Schmidt, grew up in the Kettle Moraine area in southeastern Wisconsin, a region that is known for its many Sandhill Cranes and ignited her early love for birds, wetlands, and nature. She attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison to earn her bachelor’s degree in Zoology and Environmental Studies in 2018 and in 2022 she earned her master’s degree in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.