LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - Two eggs sitting on a nest of marsh grass and sticks in a crawfish pond offer a hope in a project to bring back the endangered whooping crane to south Louisiana.
"Our fingers are crossed that next week we might have chicks hatching there," said Sara Zimorski, a biologist with the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
It's been 75 years since a whooping crane egg was documented in the state, and the birds had disappeared from the Louisiana landscape by 1950, the victim of habitat loss and hunting.
The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/1m6xcCX) Tuesday's announcement of the new eggs was made in Lafayette at the North American Crane Workshop meeting, a gathering of scientists and conservationists interested in crane issues.
Zimorski is helping oversee a project to reintroduce to Louisiana one of the rarest and largest birds in the world, growing up to 5 feet tall with a 7-foot wingspan. She said the cranes laid the eggs in late March and, based on the average 30-day incubation period, the chicks could hatch by next week.