Whooping Cranes

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Whooping cranes introduced to the wild in southwestern Louisiana are the focus of intense research aimed at finding out where they go, what they eat and what else they do with their time.

Whoopers are among the world's largest and rarest birds. Just over 500 exist. Twenty-six have been released at White Lake near Gueydan, and 14 are still alive. Another 14 are expected Nov. 28.

John French Jr. of the U.S. Geological Survey in Maryland says it's the most detailed study ever on how captive-bred whooping cranes live in the wild.

He and three other researchers keep tabs on the birds' whereabouts by electronic transmitters, and go out regularly to watch them.

Other flocks in the wild include one that migrates between Texas and Canada, and another that travels between Wisconsin and Florida.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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