|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|Head shot of mature (back) and juvenile (front) Sandhill Cranes, several have take up residence here in the past few weeks. Lucky Me! :)|
The Sandhill Crane (Grus canadensis) is a large crane of North America and extreme northeastern Siberia.
Adults are grey; they have a red forehead, white cheeks and a long dark pointed bill. They have long dark legs which trail behind in flight and a long neck that is kept straight in flight. Immature birds have reddish brown upperparts and grey underparts. Adult cranes can reach four to five feet in height and weigh seven to twelve pounds, with a wing span of up to seven feet. Both sexes look alike.
Their breeding habitat is marshes and bogs in central and northern Canada, Alaska, part of the midwestern and southeastern United States, Siberia and Cuba. They nest in marsh vegetation or on the ground close to water. The female lays two eggs on a mound of vegetation. Cranes mate for life; both parents feed the young, called colts, who are soon able to feed themselves. The Sandhill Crane does not breed until it is two to seven years old. It can live up to 25 years in the wild; in captivity they have been known to live more than twice that span. Mated pairs stay together year round, and migrate south as a group with their offspring.
Three subspecies are resident; pulla of the Gulf Coast of USA, pratensis of Florida and Georgia and nesiotes of Cuba. Others migrate to the southwestern United States south to Mexico. The Platte River at the edge of Nebraska's Sandhills in the American midwest is an important stopover for up to 450,000 of these birds during migration. This crane is a rare vagrant to China, South Korea and Japan and a very rare vagrant to western Europe.
These birds forage while walking in shallow water or in fields, sometimes probing with their bills. They are omnivorous, eating insects, aquatic plants and animals, rodents, seeds and berries. Outside of the nesting season, they forage in large flocks, often in cultivated areas.
This crane frequently gives a loud trumpeting call that suggests a French-style "r" rolled in the throat. Sandhill Cranes in flight can be differentiated from herons in that they fly with their necks extended and by their nearly constant calls.
Adanac, Jamesp has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.