Sandhill crane

Known for their elaborate courtship dances, which involve leaping, bowing and trumpeting

A majestic bird known for its striking presence and fascinating behaviors. Belonging to one of the oldest living bird families, these cranes have captivated bird watchers and nature enthusiasts across North America and parts of Siberia. With their tall stature, long necks, and impressive wingspans, Sandhill Cranes are a symbol of wild, untouched natural landscapes. 

Sandhill Cranes are large birds, standing about 3 to 5 feet tall, with a wingspan that can reach up to 7 feet. They are predominantly grey, though their feathers can sometimes have a reddish-brown appearance, the result of preening where they use mud that stains their feathers. A defining feature is the red patch on their forehead, which contrasts vividly with their white cheek. During flight, their long legs and necks stretch out, creating an elegant and elongated silhouette. They favor wide open spaces such as wetlands, grasslands, and agricultural fields where they roost in shallow water. Sandhill Cranes are notable for their long migratory patterns. They breed in the northern regions of North America during the spring and migrate to the southern parts for the winter. This migration is marked by large flocks that can number in the thousands, creating spectacular aerial displays.

In many cultures, cranes are symbols of longevity and fidelity. The Sandhill Crane, with its spectacular courtship dances and lifelong pair bonds, embodies these qualities and has a special place in the folklore and mythology of the indigenous peoples of North America.

Distribution

Country
Population est.
Status
Year
Comments
Bermuda
2020
Passage
Canada
2020
China
2020
Seasonality Uncertain
Cuba
2020
Faroe Islands
2020
Seasonality Uncertain
Greenland
2020
Seasonality Uncertain
Ireland
2020
Seasonality Uncertain
Japan
2020
Seasonality Uncertain
Korea
2020
Seasonality Uncertain
Mexico
2020
Non-Breeding
Netherlands
2020
Seasonality Uncertain
Russia
2020
Breeding: Eastern Asian Russia
Saint Pierre
2020
Seasonality Uncertain
Taiwan
2020
Seasonality Uncertain
United Kingdom
2020
Seasonality Uncertain
United States
2020

Anything we've missed?

Help us improve this page by suggesting edits. Glory never dies!

Suggest an edit

Get to know me

Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd / Flock

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No