Some amazing photos of Sandhill Cranes from our friend Terry Shaw
- Precocial – a bird or animal, hatched or born in an advanced state and able to feed itself almost immediately, like Sandhill Cranes.
- Omnivorous – feeds on both plant and animal.
- Clutch – (in birds) the total number of eggs laid in one nesting attempt.
- Migratory– (birds) moving from one region to another for breeding and wintering.
- Monomorphic – (of an animal species) having sexes that are similar in size and appearance.
- There is little distinction between male and female Sandhill Cranes, alhtough males tend to be a bit larger.
- There are regional differences in Sandhill Cranes. The “lesser” Sandhill Crane breeds in the Arctic and are the smallest. The largest type breeds in the northern U.S. and the non-migratory Florida cranes are a medium size. They are similar in size to a Great Blue Heron, but bulkier.
- Sandhill Cranes are known for their elegant mating dance, stretching their wings, pumping their heads and dancing around. Mates are chosen based on the dance. They mate for life.
- Sandhill Cranes nest on the ground in moist habitat like marshes, bogs and meadows. The nests can be more than 3 feet wide with 1-3 eggs.
- Sandhill Crane chicks (also called colts) are able to get up and leave the nest within hours of being born. Juvenile cranes stay with their parents for 9-10 months after hatching.
- .Sandhill Cranes live in marshes and have a varied menu which includes grains, insects, berries, snails and reptiles.