31 Cool Bird Facts #24 – Sandhill Crane

The Sandhill Crane (Grus canadensis) is a marvelous majestic bird we always get excited about. Cranes are fun to watch, especially if you get a chance to watch them dance!

The “dance” of the Sandhill Crane is well known. Pairs engage in elaborate bowing displays with outstretched wings and leap high into the air. Often, a corncob or stick is picked up and thrown upward repeatedly. This behavior is believed to strengthen or establish new pair bonds. Although cranes generally “mate for life” (i.e. pairs remain faithful), they are hunted in several states and provinces, and if mates are lost, cranes will select another mate if necessary. Consequently, the Platte has been referred to as “the greatest singles bar for cranes” or “the melting pot of crane world”, since it provides the best opportunity to find a new mate as sub-populations from throughout the Northern Hemisphere commingle. – Nebraska Games and Parks Commission

Dancing Cranes by Dakota
Sandhill Cranes - Dance

Cranes mate for life and can live more than 20 years. There are six different subspecies of Sandhill Crane, three of which migrate:

  1. Grus canadensis canadensis (Lesser Sandhill)
  2. Grus canadensis tabida (Greater Sandhill)
  3. Grus canadensis rowani (Canadian Sandhill)
  4. Grus canadensis pratensis (Florida Sandhill)
  5. Grus canadensis pulla (Mississippi Sandhill)
  6. Grus canadensis nesiotes (Cuban Sandhill)

Sandhill Crane

Sandhill Crane {Grus canadensis} With Young

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