Sandhill Crane

Grus canadensis

A spectacular sight in nature is a flock of sandhill cranes dancing on the arctic tundra, or in flight migrating in long lines or Vs across the middle of the North American continent. The sandhill crane is a very tall wading bird with a loud call, a graceful flight on huge wings, and an energetic dance that is performed frequently throughout the year for mating as well as for stress reduction – just for the fun of it, it seems! It is a social bird that gathers in large numbers during its migration, and most of the estimated 500,000 cranes in North America pause in their migration in one area of the Platte River Basin of Nebraska each spring.

Characteristics

The sandhill crane is a stately wading bird known for its graceful flight and its energetic mating dance. It is one of the world’s tallest birds. The adult stands up to 1.5 meters (5 feet) high, weighs about 4.5 to 6 kg (10 to 14 pounds), and has a wing span of up to 2 meters (6.5 feet).The adult crane has a red forehead without feathers, white cheeks, a long black bill, and a long grey neck. The long black bill has a serrated edge and is very hard and sharp…

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