Time–activity budget studies provide valuable insights for better understanding animal behavior relative to spatial and temporal habitat use. We examined a reintroduced, nonmigratory Whooping Crane (Grus americana) population to determine how time–activity budgets change relative to crane age, sex, habitat type, and season. Our study area encompassed natural marshes and working wetlands primarily in southwestern Louisiana. From June 2012 to January 2016, we conducted continuous focal sampling on individuals (n = 27) from the first 4 captive-reared cohorts released in the state. We classified age groups as juveniles, subadults, and adults, and identified 5 main habitat types utilized by cranes in Louisiana: crawfish ponds, rice fields, agricultural levees/farm roads, fallow fields, and natural wetlands. On average, cranes spent approximately 53% of their diurnal time–activity budget foraging. Maintenance/rest (28%), vigilance (12%), locomotion (6%), and other/unknown (2%) behaviors accounted for the remainder of the time observed. Foraging most frequently occurred in fallow fields and crawfish ponds where cranes likely encountered greater invertebrate biomass and density. Cranes tended to spend less time foraging and more time on maintenance as they aged, which could indicate age-dependent differences based on experience on the landscape. Vigilance levels were not significantly affected by age, but males tended to be more vigilant than females. As this young population continues to mature, additional study of breeding pairs and family groups may elucidate other behavioral differences in response to the dynamic habitat conditions in the region.

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