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Sandhill Crane

Jeff Swan

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Sandhill Crane  Photograph  - Sandhill Crane  Fine Art Print





Tags: birds photographs, fowl photographs, wildlife photographs, nature photographs, sand hill cranes photographs, birds canvas prints, fowl canvas prints, wildlife canvas prints, nature canvas prints, sand hill cranes canvas prints

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Selah, WA - United States

Thanks Claudia

Woodstock, NY - United States

Beautiful capture, love the textures. L

Selah, WA - United States

Thanks Ronda

Kingston, WA - United States

Ooh, great color and comp~ FV

Selah, WA - United States

Thanks Laurie

San Lorenzo, CA - United States

The colors are amazing, dear Jeff!!!! :)))fv

Selah, WA - United States

Thanks Kathleen

Kenner, LA - United States

Superb, Jeff!! She has good camouflage, too!! :) kk

Selah, WA - United States

Thanks Lathe

Selah, WA - United States

Thanks Luoinda

Dubai, D - United Arab Emirates

A wonderful shot,Jeff !!!! (f/v)

Green Valley, AZ - United States

Excellent capture vf

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Sandhill Crane


Jeff Swan


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Sandhill Crane
Adult and chick
Conservation status

Least Concern (IUCN 3.1)[1]
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Aves
Order: Gruiformes
Family: Gruidae
Genus: Grus
Species: G. canadensis
Binomial name
Grus canadensis
(Linnaeus, 1758)

Grus canadensis canadensis
(Linnaeus, 1758)
Grus canadensis pratensis
(F. A. A. Meyer, 1794)
Grus canadensis nesiotes
Bangs & Zappey, 1905
Grus canadensis tabida
(J. L. Peters, 1925)
Grus canadensis rowani (disputed)
Walkinshaw, 1965
Grus canadensis pulla
Aldrich, 1972

and see text

Ardea canadensis Linnaeus, 1758
Grus minor
Grus proavus
and see text

The Sandhill Crane (Grus canadensis) is a species of large crane of North America and extreme northeastern Siberia. The common name of this bird references habitat like that at the Platte River, on the edge of Nebraska's Sandhills in the American Midwest. This is the most important stopover area for the nominotypical subspecies, the Lesser Sandhill Crane (Grus canadensis canadensis), with up to 450,000 of these birds migrating through annually.
Florida Sandhill Crane, Grus canadensis pratensis; adult (behind) and juvenile

Adult is gray overall; during breeding, the plumage is usually much worn and stained, particular in the migratory populations, and looks nearly ochre. The average weight of the larger male is 4.57 kg (10.1 lb), while the average weight of females is 4.02 kg (8.9 lb), with a range of 2.7 to 6.7 kg (6.0 to 15 lb) across the subspecies.[2][3] The Sandhill Crane has a red forehead, white cheeks and a long dark pointed bill. Its long dark legs trail behind in flight, and the long neck is kept straight in flight. Immature birds have reddish brown upperparts and gray underparts.[4][5] The sexes look alike. Size varies among the different subspecies; the average height of these birds is around 80 to 120 cm (2.6 to 3.9 ft).[6] The standard linear measurements of the Sandhill are: the wing chord measures 41.860 cm (16.524 in), the tail is 1026.4 cm (3.910.4 in), the exposed culmen is 6.916 cm (2.76.3 in) long and the tarsus measures 15.526.6 cm (6.110.5 in).[7]

This crane frequently gives a loud trumpeting call that suggests a French-style "r" rolled in the throat, and they can be heard from a long distance. Mated pairs of cranes engage in "unison calling." The cranes stand close together, calling in a synchronized and complex duet. The female makes two calls for every single call of the male.

The Sandhill Crane's large wingspan, typically 1.65 to 2.1 m (5.4 to 6.9 ft), makes this a very skilled soaring bird similar in style to hawks and eagles. Utilizing thermals to obtain lift, they can stay aloft for many hours, requiring only occasional flapping of their wings and consequently expending little energy. With migratory flocks containing hundreds of birds, they can create clear outlines of the normally invisible rising columns of air (thermals) that they ride.

Sandhill Cranes fly south for the winter. In their wintering areas they form flocks of over 10,000 birds. One place to observe this is at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, 100 miles south of Albuquerque, New Mexico. There is an annual Sandhill Crane Festival in November.

Grus canadensis
USFWS Recording
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Fossil record

The Sandhill Crane has one of the longest fossil histories of any bird still found today.[8] A 10-million-year-old crane fossil from Nebraska is often cited as being of this species,[9] but this is more likely from a prehistoric relative or the direct ancestor of the Sandhill Crane and may not belong in the genus Grus. The oldest unequivocal Sandhill Crane fossil is 2.5 million years old,[10] over one and a half times older than the earliest remains of most living species of birds, which are primarily found from after the Pliocene/Pleistocene boundary some 1.8 million years ago. As these ancient Sandhill Cranes varied as much in size as the present-day birds, even those Pliocene fossils were sometimes described as new species.[11] Grus haydeni on the other hand may or may not have been a prehistoric relative of the living species, or it may actually comprise material of the Sandhill Crane and its ancestor.[12][13]
Subspecies and evolution


June 23rd, 2013


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