Magnify and Expand

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: Antigone canadensis

Average height: 3-4'

Average wingspan: 6.5'

Average weight: 7.5-10.8 lbs.


Sandhill cranes are long and tall with thick heavy bodies. Both males and females have gray plumage and can’t easily be sexed by physical appearance, although males tend to be slightly larger.Sandhill Crane Range Map

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.


There are several subspecies of sandhill cranes in North America. The three non-migratory subspecies are fairly range restricted and found in Mississippi, Florida, and Cuba, and the latter two are endangered. Meanwhile, the two migratory subspecies, known as the Greater and Lesser sandhill cranes, are represented by six populations that use different migratory pathways. The migratory populations are stable or increasing and have provided expanding opportunities for migratory bird hunters.

Migration 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.