- The sandhill cranes travel as much as 350 miles per day while migrating . They fly at anywhere from 14 to 51 miles per hour in a V formation--often as high as 12,000 feet.
- Their nesting grounds are through the northern United States and extreme northeast Siberia, and they arrive in early to mid May. Nests in the wetland areas are made from dominant vegetation, while the nests in drier areas are sparsely prepared. These cranes usually begin breeding at 7 years old and mate with only one partner for life. Two eggs are laid and both sexes incubate. These eggs hatch in 29-32 days, and the nestlings can walk immediately. This trait is why the young cranes are called colts .
- These cranes also preen themselves with mud , vegetation and insects to take on a more reddish brown color. This helps camouflage the young, which are rusty colored and have no red patch because the bald spot is covered with the same down over the rest of their body. The red patch on the adult changes with stimulation. The more stressed the bird is, the more intense the red patch becomes.
- In the spring , cranes are very territorial to protect their nests. However, they become more social beginning in August to get ready to migrate for the winter.
- Big Bird from Sesame Street is a crane chick, or colt.
Click on the language to view common names.
Common Names in Czech:
Common Names in Danish:
Common Names in Dutch:
Canadese Kraanvogel, Prairie-kraanvogel, Prairiekraanvogel
Common Names in English:
baldhead, Blue Crane, brown crane, Cuba Sandhill Crane, Florida crane, garoo, gray crane, greater sandhill crane, lesser sandhill crane, little brown crane, Mississippi Sandhill Crane, Sandhill Crane, sandhill whooper, upland crane
Common Names in Estonian:
Common Names in Faroese:
Common Names in Finnish:
Common Names in French:
Grue Canadienne, grue du canada
Common Names in German:
Kanada Kranich, Kanadakranich, Kanadischer Kranich
Common Names in Inuktitut:
Common Names in Irish:
Common Names in Italian:
Common Names in Japanese:
Common Names in Latin:
Common Names in Lithuanian:
Common Names in Norwegian:
Common Names in Polish:
Common Names in Portuguese:
Grou Do Canad
Common Names in Russian:
Common Names in Slovenian:
Common Names in Spanish:
Grulla, Grulla canadiense, Grulla gris
Common Names in Spanish (Cuba):
Common Names in Spanish (Mexico):
Common Names in Swedish:
Common Names in Turkish:
Common Names in Welsh:
Garan Y Twyni
Adult : Head : Crown: dull red skin Face : Cheeks: whitish Chin: whitish Lores : dull red skin Bill: blackish gray Shape : straight Neck: Length : long Throat : whitish Body: gray Legs : Foot Color: blackish gray Leg Color: long blackish gray.
Mostly gray; top of head
, red; bill, legs
, and feet black; primaries
(outer flight feathers) dark gray to black. Muddy stains
may discolor the feathers
Adult : Dark bill · Unfeathered red crown and lores · Entirely gray plumage, that often becomes stained with rust or brown, especially about the back and wings · Whitish cheeks and chin
Juvenile : Feathered crown · Gray-brown plumage mottled with cinnamon
About 23 to 48 inches long, with a wingspan of 73 to 90 inches. Adults
weigh about 118.4 ounces
Height 3 feet (0.9m)
Wingspan of 6 feet (1.8m)
Male weight 12 lbs ; female weight 9.5 lbs
Vegetation: freshwater marshes, northern temperate grasslands • Foraging Strata: Terrestrial • Center of Abundance: Lower subtropical: lowlands, lower than 500 m.; subtropics. • Sensitivity to Disturbance: Low
Typically found at an altitude of 0 to 2,911 meters (0 to 9,551 feet).
List of Habitats
- 4 Grassland
- 4.4 Grassland - Temperate
- 5 Wetlands (inland)
- 5.4 Wetlands (inland) - Bogs , Marshes, Swamps , Fens , Peatlands [more info]
The diet consists of a variety of foods, including aquatic invertebrates , insects, small vertebrates , seeds, fruits, frogs , rodents, insects, bulbs, seeds, and berries . While on migration, they also eat waste grain,other plant materials , and field animals. The Sandhill Crane searches for most food on the ground or in the water and will eat almost any food item it finds.
The breeding season
begins in late January, peaks in March, and extends
into August. Breeding habitat
consists of grasslands, wetlands, and
marshes, usually associated with fresh water
. The saucer-shaped
is placed on the ground
or on a mound of plant material
the nest above the surface of the water. Both adults
build the nest
out of sticks
, moss, and other plant material. The female
1-3 (usually 2) eggs
that she and the male take turns
for 28-32 days. The young are precocial and leave the nest within
2 days. The young begin feeding independently about 2 weeks after
and can fly when they are 65-70 days old. The young stay
with the parents until the following spring
Young cranes can capture their own food at an early age, but they are frequently fed by the parents. In 67-75 days, the colts have fledged and can make the migration south. Usually, only one of the colts survives long enough to fledge . The sandhill parents raise their young for 10 months.
Breeding Habitat: Wetland-open water Clutch Size: 2 Length of Incubation : 28-32 days Days to Fledge: 65
- Whittaker & Margulis,1978
- C. Linnaeus, 1758
- (Hatschek, 1888) Cavalier-Smith, 1983
- Grobben, 1908
- (Haeckel, 1874) Cavalier-Smith, 1998
- Bateson, 1885
- Cuvier, 1812
- Jawed Vertebrates
- Goodrich, 1930
- Linnaeus, 1758
- Gauthier, 1986
- (C. Linnaeus, 1758)
- Pycraft, 1900
- Huxley, 1867
- Bonaparte, 1854
- Suborder: Grues () - Bonaparte, 1854
- Order: Gruiformes () - Bonaparte, 1854
- Superorder: Charadriimorphae () - Huxley, 1867
- Cohort: Neognathae () - Pycraft, 1900
- Infraclass: Aves () - (C. Linnaeus, 1758)
- Subclass: Avialae () - Gauthier, 1986
- Class: Aves () - Linnaeus, 1758
- Superclass: Tetrapoda () - Goodrich, 1930
- Infraphylum: Gnathostomata () - auct. - Jawed Vertebrates
- Subphylum: Vertebrata () - Cuvier, 1812 - Vertebrates
- Phylum: Chordata () - Bateson, 1885 - Chordates
- Infrakingdom: Chordonia () - (Haeckel, 1874) Cavalier-Smith, 1998
- Branch: Deuterostomia () - Grobben, 1908
- Subkingdom: Bilateria () - (Hatschek, 1888) Cavalier-Smith, 1983
- Kingdom: Animalia () - C. Linnaeus, 1758 - animals
Grus canadensis (Linnaeus, 1758)
Status: Accepted Name
Last scrutiny: 28-Nov-2006
Whooping Crane, Great Blue Heron
Members of the genus Grus
ZipcodeZoo has pages for 20 species and subspecies in this genus:
G. americana (Great White Crane) · G. antigone (Eastern Sarus Crane) · G. antigone antigone (Sarus Crane) · G. canadensis (Mississippi Sandhill Crane) · G. canadensis canadensis (Lesser Sandhill Crane) · G. canadensis mexicana (Sandhill Crane) · G. canadensis nesiotes (Cuba Sandhill Crane) · G. canadensis pratensis (Sandhill Crane) · G. canadensis pulla (Mississippi Sandhill Crane) · G. canadensis tabida (Greater Sandhill Crane) · G. carunculatus (Wattled Crane) · G. grus (Eurasian Crane) · G. japonensis (Red-Crowned Crane) · G. leucogeranus (White Crane) · G. monacha (Hooded Crane) · G. nigricollis (Black-Necked Crane) · G. paradisea (Paradise Crane) · G. rubicunda (Australian Crane) · G. vipio (Japanese White-Naped Crane) · G. virgo (Demoiselle Crane)
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- Global Biodiversity Information Facility. Accessed March 05, 2008. http://www.gbif.org Mediated distribution data from 11 providers.
- Hines, J. E., Gregory Gough, J. R. Sauer, et al. USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
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- NatureServe. 2003. Downloadable animal data sets. NatureServe Central Databases. Accessed February 6, 2005.
- Parker III, T.A., D.F. Stotz, and J.W. Fitzpatrick, and quot;Ecological and Distributional Databases for Neotropical Birds, and quot; in Neotropical Birds: Ecology and Conservation, by D.F. Stotz, T.A. Parker III, J.W. Fitzpatrick, and D.K. Moskovits (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996). ISBN 0-226-64676-9.
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- Sauer, J. R., J. E. Hines, and J. Fallon. 2005. The North American Breeding Bird Survey, Results and Analysis 1966 - 2004. Version 2005.2. USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Laurel, MD
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- The Georgia Museum of Natural History and Georgia Department of Natural Resources
Accessed through GBIF Data Portal March 05, 2008:
- Avian Knowledge Network: eBird
- Avian Knowledge Network: Great Backyard Bird Count
- Avian Knowledge Network: Project FeederWatch
- Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum: Bishop Museum Natural History Specimen Data
- Bird Studies Canada: BC Coastal Waterbird Survey
- Bird Studies Canada: Marsh Monitoring Program - Birds
- Bird Studies Canada: Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas 1981-1985
- Bird Studies Canada: Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas 2001-2005
- Borror Laboratory of Bioacoustics
- Canadian Biodiversity Information Facility: North West Territories and Nunavut Bird Checklist, Canada
- Canadian Biodiversity Information Facility: Ontario Nest Records
- Canadian Biodiversity Information Facility: Provincial Museum of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada. Birds (Aves)
- Canadian Biodiversity Information Facility: Royal British Columbia Museum
- Canadian Museum of Nature: Canadian Museum of Nature Bird Collection
- Marine Science Institute, UCSB: Paleobiology Database
- Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University: MCZ Ornithology Collection
- Museum of Vertebrate Zoology: Terrestrial vertebrate specimens
- Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History: Santa Barbara Musem of Natural History
- University of Colorado Museum: Zoological specimens
- University of Michigan Museum of Zoology (UMMZ): Bird specimens
- Biodiversity Heritage Library NamebankID: 9131
- Catalogue of Life Accepted Name Code: ITS-708141
- Global Biodiversity Information Facility Taxonkey: 4490920
- Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) Taxonomic Serial Number (TSN): 176177
- IUCN ID: 212155
- Natural Heritage Network Species Identifier: ABNMK01015
- Zipcode Zoo Species Identifier: 899