Sandhill Crane

About the Sandhill Crane


Sandhill crane pairs stay together during the yearly breeding process and share incubation duties on the nest. A typical clutch consists of 1-2 eggs.

Latin: Grus canadensis

Average height: M & F 3.9"

Average wingspan: M & F 6.6"

Average weight: M & F 12 lbs.


Sandhill cranes are long and tall with thick heavy bodies. Both males and females have gray plumage and can not easily be sexed. Adults have reddish skinned foreheads, with juveniles having brown feathered foreheads.

Food Habits

Sandhill cranes are opportunistic and eat a highly varied diet depending on their current habitat. While their main diet consists of grains, the cranes eat both invertebrates and vertebrates for protein and fat reserves.

Distribution and Population

Several Sandhill crane populations exist across North America. With several separate populations, distribution can vary widely depending on the season. The Cuban and Mississippi populations are non-migratory and endangered, while the Mid-Continent population migrates over two-thirds of the continent and is huntable. The migratory populations are stable due to harvesting regulations.

Migrating and Wintering

The Sandhill crane has both migratory and non-migrating populations spread across North America. The Mid-Continent population is the largest and can migrate from as far as Siberia to the southern United States and Gulf Coast.

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