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    Sandhill Crane

    ID Info
    Silhouette CranesCranes

    Sandhill Crane

    Antigone canadensis
    • ORDER: Gruiformes
    • FAMILY: Gruidae
    Basic Description

    Whether stepping singly across a wet meadow or filling the sky by the hundreds and thousands, Sandhill Cranes have an elegance that draws attention. These tall, gray-bodied, crimson-capped birds breed in open wetlands, fields, and prairies across North America. They group together in great numbers, filling the air with distinctive rolling cries. Mates display to each other with exuberant dances that retain a gangly grace. Sandhill Crane populations are generally strong, but isolated populations in Mississippi and Cuba are endangered.

    More ID Info
    image of range map for Sandhill CraneRange map provided by Birds of North AmericaExplore Maps

    Find This Bird

    Sandhill Cranes are large birds that live in open habitats, so they’re fairly easy to spot if you go to the right places. In summer look for them in small bogs, marshes, and prairies across northern North America and the southeastern United States. In winter they form immense flocks in places like Bosque del Apache, New Mexico, and Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge, Texas. Their bugling calls are unique and can be heard from miles away—they can help alert you to this species’ presence, particularly as they pass overhead on migration.

    Other Names
    • Grulla Gris (Spanish)
    • Grue du Canada (French)
    • Cool Facts