Adult is grey overall; during breeding, the plumage is usually much worn and stained with colors ranging from yellow to orange to brown. Males average 4,57kg while the females are 4,02 kg in body mass. 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. The sexes look alike. Immature birds have reddish brown upperparts and gray underparts. The average height of these birds is around 80 to 120 cm. Their wingspan is large , typically 1.65 to 2.1 m making the bird very skilled at soaring like hawks and eagles.
Habitat and Distribution
The Sandhill Crane is a large bird of North America and extreme northeastern Siberia. It occurs at the Platte River, on the edge of Nebraska’s Sandhills on the American Plains. Sandhill Cranes fly south for the winter, forming flocks of over 10,000 birds. One place to observe this is at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, 100 mi (160 km)south of Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Sandhill Cranes are mainly herbivorous, often eating food based on availability.They feed with their bills down to the ground as they root around for seeds. Cultivated foods such as corn, wheat and sorghum are readily eaten.
Nest sites are usually in marshes, bogs, or swales, though cranes will occasionally nest on dry land. The female lays 1 to 3 eggs that are oval-shaped and dull brown with reddish brown markings. Both parents participate in incubation, which lasts 29 to 32 days.
Calls and Songs
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.