Endangered Crowned Cranes About to Hatch 3 Eggs on Webcam

© Jaymi Heimbuch

East African Crowned cranes are spectacular birds, sporting a rather interesting "crown" of feathers on their heads along with other beautiful plumage. Two members of this species live at Pandemonium Aviaries, a California-based sanctuary for rare and endangered bird species. And they're about to hatch three eggs on a live webcam stream!

Olivia and Ferguson are the proud parents, and you can watch them round the clock tending to their clutch of eggs. The expected hatch date is Thursday, but it could potentially be any moment now that these little chicks break through their shells.

Pandemonium Aviaries/Video screen capture

East African Crowned cranes, a subspecies of the Grey Crowned cranes, are endangered due to habitat loss and degradation from human activities including due pesticide use, overgrazing by livestock, drainage of their wetland breeding areas and drought. Because the species is on the decline, these little chicks will be important new members of Pandemonium. The non-profit sanctuary's mission is to conserve endangered and rare bird species until it is safe to reintroduce them to the wild.

The sanctuary states, "Today, Pandemonium is one of the largest bird sanctuaries in the US, and we are among the few groups addressing the issue of birds disappearing from the wild and from aviculture by conservation breeding of endangered species. We do not sell any birds. Our baby birds are parent raised. We breed for species survival and not for the pet market."

One of the best parts is that while the sanctuary doesn't allow public visits for the health and comfort of the birds, they do have webcams! So you can tune in to the two webcams that will feature the nest of Olivia and Ferguson, and watch the hatching of three special little chicks.

Tags: Birds | Conservation | Education | Endangered Species