In the fight against extinction, score one—actually, make that two—for Whooping Cranes. For the first time in 75 years, a pair has successfully nested in Louisiana, producing not one but two fuzzy, wild-born chicks. With the bird’s total population hovering roughly 600, every new addition counts—and counts big.

Louisiana’s last wild Whoopers disappeared just after World War II. In 2011, state and federal wildlife agencies teamed up with Louisiana’s Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to begin releasing captive-bred birds into the White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area. A pair from the released batch set up housekeeping last month and lo and behold, eggs quickly gave way to adorable chicks.

For a bird that’s teetered on the brink of disaster for a century, and even still suffers tragedies, the birth of twins is wonderful news! To keep up with the latest, check out the Whoopers’ Facebook page. (Warning: cute baby alert!)

Photo by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

Written by Meredith Mann
The lowly Red-winged Blackbirds in suburban New York triggered Meredith Mann's interest in birds. Five years later, she's explored some of the the USA's coolest hotspots, from Plum Island in Massachusetts to the Magic Hedge in Chicago to the deserts of Fallon, Nevada. She recently migrated from the Windy City (where she proudly served as a Chicago Bird Collision Monitor, rescuing migrants from skyscrapers and sidewalks) to Philadelphia, where she plans to find new editing and writing gigs; keep up her cool-finds chronicle, Blog5B; and discover which cheesesteak really is the best. And she will accept any and all invitations to bird Cape May, NJ.