Antigone canadensis - (Linnaeus, 1758)
Sandhill Crane
Other English Common Names: sandhill crane
Synonym(s): Grus canadensis (Linnaeus, 1758)
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Grus canadensis (Linnaeus, 1758) (TSN 176177)
French Common Names: grue du Canada
Spanish Common Names: Grulla Gris
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.104550
Element Code: ABNMK01010
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Birds - Wading Birds
Image 7486

© Larry Master

 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Aves Gruiformes Gruidae Antigone
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: American Ornithologists' Union (AOU). 1998. Check-list of North American birds. Seventh edition. American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C. [as modified by subsequent supplements and corrections published in The Auk]. Also available online: http://www.aou.org/.
Concept Reference Code: B98AOU01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Grus canadensis
Taxonomic Comments: Formerly placed in the genus Grus, but genetic data (Krajewski et al. 2010) indicate that Grus is paraphyletic with respect to Bugeranus and Anthropoides and that A. canadensis is not closely related to true Grus (AOU 2016).

See Krajewski and Fetzner (1994) for a phylogeny of cranes based on cytochrome-B DNA sequences (A. canadensis is not closely related to any of the other 14 extant crane species).

Nominal subspecies rowani is a questionably distinct transitional race, essentially linking subspecies canadensis with subspecies tabida (Johnsgard 1983). This suggests that variation is clinal and that current subspecies designations may not be meaningful. A modern taxonomic analysis would be useful.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 08Apr2016
Global Status Last Changed: 25Nov1996
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Reasons: Large range; stable or increasing in most areas.
Nation: United States
National Status: N5B,N5N (05Jan1997)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N5B,N1N,N5M (25Jan2018)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alabama (SHB,S2N), Alaska (S5B), Arizona (S3N), Arkansas (S3N), California (SNRB,SNRN), Colorado (S3B,S4N), Florida (SNRB,SNRN), Georgia (S2), Idaho (S3B), Illinois (S3), Indiana (S2B,S1N), Iowa (S1B,S1N), Kansas (S4N), Kentucky (SNA), Louisiana (S2N), Massachusetts (S1N), Michigan (S4), Minnesota (S4B,SNRM), Mississippi (S1), Missouri (S1), Montana (S5B,S2N), Navajo Nation (SNA), Nebraska (S3), Nevada (S2B), New Jersey (SNA), New Mexico (S4N), New York (S1B), North Carolina (SNA), North Dakota (SU), Ohio (S1), Oklahoma (S2N), Oregon (S3), Pennsylvania (SNA), South Carolina (SNRN), South Dakota (SNA), Tennessee (S3N), Texas (S5), Utah (S3?B), Vermont (S1B), Washington (S1B,S3N), Wisconsin (S4S5B), Wyoming (S3B,S5N)
Canada Alberta (S4), British Columbia (S4B), Manitoba (S5B), New Brunswick (S1B,S1M), Northwest Territories (S5B), Nunavut (S5B,S5M), Ontario (S5B), Quebec (S4), Saskatchewan (S2B,S4M), Yukon Territory (S3B,S4M)

Other Statuses

Implied Status under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (USESA): PS
Comments on USESA: Subspecies pulla of Mississippi and subspecies nesiotes of Cuba are listed by USFWS as Endangered.
Implied Status under the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC):PS:NAR
Comments on COSEWIC: The Sandhill Crane tabida subspecies is designated Not at Risk.
IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species Protection Status (CITES): Appendix II

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 20,000-2,500,000 square km (about 8000-1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: Breeding range extends from northeastern Siberia, northern Alaska, and middle arctic Canada (to Baffin Island) south locally to northeastern California, Nevada, Wyoming, Colorado, South Dakota, Illinois, and Michigan, formerly south to Nebraska, Indiana, and Ohio; also locally from southern Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia south through Florida to Cuba and Isles of Pines. Winter range extends from the southern United States south to northern Mexico and Cuba.

See Johnsgard (1983, 1991) for a fairly detailed maps of the breeding and wintering ranges. See Pogson and Lindstedt (1991) for information on specific wintering areas in California. See files for subspecies.

Population Size: 10,000 to >1,000,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Total population is several hundred thousand. The number of birds staging in fall in northwestern Indiana increased from 35 in 1935 to about 14,000 in 1979, reflecting population increases in the Great Lakes region and possibly Manitoba (Johnsgard 1983). Great Lakes population consisted in the mid-1980s of more than 16,000; increased fourfold in numbers over past two decades (Johnsgard 1991, Herkert 1992). Rocky Mountain population was 17,000-20,000 in the mid-1980s (Johnsgard 1991), 20,500 in 1996 (USFWS 1996). In the 1980s, mid-continent population was 400,000-600,000, most of which use the Platte River as an important migration stopover area (Norling et al. 1992). About 25,000 winter in the Central Valley of California, including at least 6000 greater and Canadian sandhill cranes (Pogson and Lindstedt 1991). Arctic-tundra-breeding populations total 200,000-500,000 (Johnsgard 1991). G. C. NESIOTES of Cuba and Isle of Pines: total population in 1990 was thought to be 54 (Johnsgard 1991).

Overall Threat Impact Comments: Threatened by loss and degradation of wetland habitats. Collisions with powerlines have been noted as a significant source of mortality in the Rocky Mountains. Breeding population in southern and southeastern Oregon and northeastern California is threatened by high levels of nest and chick predation by ravens, coyotes, and raccoons, though predator control efforts have alleviated the threat (Johnsgard 1991, Littlefield 1995). Breeding populations disappear from areas of heavy human use.

Short-term Trend: Relatively Stable (<=10% change)
Short-term Trend Comments: Great Lakes population increased greatly in the 1970s and 1980s (Johnsgard 1991, Heckert 1992). Breeding populations of greater sandhill crane in Canada evidently were increasing in the 1970s (Stephen, 1979 COSEWIC report). Mid-continent population appears to have stabilized following dramatic increases in the early 1980s (USFWS 1996). Annual surveys of the Rocky Mountain population suggest a relatively stable population since 1984 (USFWS 1996). Low recruitment in California/Oregon may eventually lead to a population decline (California Department of Fish and Game 1990). Population that breeds in southern and southeastern Oregon and northeastern California is the only population of greater sandhill cranes that is declining in at least some parts of its range (Johnsgard 1991). Population at Malheur NWR in Oregon declined from 236 breeding pairs in 1975 to 168 in 1989, increased to previous level in mid-1990s (due to predator control) (Littlefield 1995).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: (20,000-2,500,000 square km (about 8000-1,000,000 square miles)) Breeding range extends from northeastern Siberia, northern Alaska, and middle arctic Canada (to Baffin Island) south locally to northeastern California, Nevada, Wyoming, Colorado, South Dakota, Illinois, and Michigan, formerly south to Nebraska, Indiana, and Ohio; also locally from southern Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia south through Florida to Cuba and Isles of Pines. Winter range extends from the southern United States south to northern Mexico and Cuba.

See Johnsgard (1983, 1991) for a fairly detailed maps of the breeding and wintering ranges. See Pogson and Lindstedt (1991) for information on specific wintering areas in California. See files for subspecies.

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
NOTE: The maps for birds represent the breeding status by state and province. In some jurisdictions, the subnational statuses for common species have not been assessed and the status is shown as not-assessed (SNR). In some jurisdictions, the subnational status refers to the status as a non-breeder; these errors will be corrected in future versions of these maps. A species is not shown in a jurisdiction if it is not known to breed in the jurisdiction or if it occurs only accidentally or casually in the jurisdiction. Thus, the species may occur in a jurisdiction as a seasonal non-breeding resident or as a migratory transient but this will not be indicated on these maps. See other maps on this web site that depict the Western Hemisphere ranges of these species at all seasons of the year.
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AK, AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NJ, NM, NN, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, WA, WI, WY
Canada AB, BC, MB, NB, NT, NU, ON, QC, SK, YT

Range Map
Note: Range depicted for New World only. The scale of the maps may cause narrow coastal ranges or ranges on small islands not to appear. Not all vagrant or small disjunct occurrences are depicted. For migratory birds, some individuals occur outside of the passage migrant range depicted. For information on how to obtain shapefiles of species ranges see our Species Mapping pages at www.natureserve.org/conservation-tools/data-maps-tools.

Range Map Compilers: NatureServe, 2002; WILDSPACETM 2002


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
AL Baldwin (01003)*, Chilton (01021)
CA Butte (06007), Lassen (06035), Modoc (06049), Placer (06061), Plumas (06063), Shasta (06089), Sierra (06091), Siskiyou (06093), Sutter (06101)*
CO Eagle (08037)*, El Paso (08041), Garfield (08045), Grand (08049), Jackson (08057), Larimer (08069), Mesa (08077), Moffat (08081), Rio Blanco (08103), Rio Grande (08105)*, Routt (08107), Saguache (08109)*
FL Alachua (12001), Baker (12003), Brevard (12009), Charlotte (12015), DeSoto (12027), Gilchrist (12041), Glades (12043), Hendry (12051), Hillsborough (12057), Lake (12069), Lee (12071), Levy (12075), Manatee (12081), Marion (12083), Martin (12085), Okeechobee (12093), Orange (12095)*, Osceola (12097), Palm Beach (12099), Pasco (12101), Polk (12105), Putnam (12107), Sarasota (12115), Seminole (12117), St. Lucie (12111), Taylor (12123), Volusia (12127)
GA Charlton (13049), Lanier (13173), Lowndes (13185), Ware (13299)
ID Bannock (16005), Bear Lake (16007), Bingham (16011), Blaine (16013), Bonneville (16019), Camas (16025), Caribou (16029), Cassia (16031), Clark (16033), Custer (16037), Franklin (16041), Fremont (16043), Idaho (16049), Jefferson (16051), Lemhi (16059), Owyhee (16073), Power (16077), Teton (16081), Valley (16085)
IL Boone (17007), Carroll (17015), Cook (17031), DuPage (17043), Grundy (17063), Kane (17089), Lake (17097), Lee (17103), Mchenry (17111), Pike (17149), Stephenson (17177), Vermilion (17183), Wayne (17191), Whiteside (17195), Winnebago (17201)
IN Elkhart (18039), Jasper (18073), Kosciusko (18085), La Porte (18091), Lagrange (18087), Lake (18089), Newton (18111), Pulaski (18131), St. Joseph (18141), Starke (18149), Steuben (18151), Tippecanoe (18157)
LA Calcasieu (22019), Cameron (22023)*, Franklin (22041), Madison (22065)*, Morehouse (22067), Rapides (22079), Richland (22083), Vermilion (22113)*, West Carroll (22123)
MN Aitkin (27001), Anoka (27003), Becker (27005), Beltrami (27007), Benton (27009), Brown (27015), Carlton (27017), Carver (27019), Cass (27021), Chisago (27025), Clay (27027), Clearwater (27029), Crow Wing (27035), Dakota (27037), Freeborn (27047), Goodhue (27049), Houston (27055), Hubbard (27057), Isanti (27059), Itasca (27061), Kanabec (27065), Kittson (27069), Koochiching (27071), Lake (27075), Lake of the Woods (27077), Lincoln (27081), Lyon (27083), Mahnomen (27087), Marshall (27089), Mille Lacs (27095), Morrison (27097), Mower (27099), Murray (27101), Norman (27107), Otter Tail (27111), Pennington (27113), Pine (27115), Polk (27119), Pope (27121), Ramsey (27123), Red Lake (27125), Rice (27131), Roseau (27135), Scott (27139), Sherburne (27141), Sibley (27143), St. Louis (27137), Stearns (27145), Steele (27147), Swift (27151), Todd (27153), Wabasha (27157), Wadena (27159), Waseca (27161), Washington (27163), Wilkin (27167)
MO Boone (29019), Holt (29087), Saline (29195)
MS Harrison (28047)*, Jackson (28059)
NE Clay (31035), Fillmore (31059), Scotts Bluff (31157)
NY Franklin (36033), Genesee (36037)
OH Lorain (39093)
OK Alfalfa (40003), Cimarron (40025), Custer (40039), Grant (40053)
OR Baker (41001), Clackamas (41005), Crook (41013), Deschutes (41017), Grant (41023), Harney (41025), Jackson (41029), Klamath (41035), Lake (41037), Lane (41039), Linn (41043), Malheur (41045), Union (41061), Wasco (41065)
PA Crawford (42039)
UT Box Elder (49003)*, Carbon (49007), Davis (49011)*, Emery (49015), Juab (49023), Morgan (49029), Rich (49033), Salt Lake (49035)*, Summit (49043), Utah (49049)*, Wasatch (49051)*
VT Addison (50001), Franklin (50011)
WA Adams (53001)+, Benton (53005)+, Chelan (53007)+, Clark (53011)+, Cowlitz (53015)+, Douglas (53017)+, Ferry (53019)+, Franklin (53021)+, Grant (53025)+, Klickitat (53039)+, Lewis (53041)+, Lincoln (53043)+, Pend Oreille (53051)+, Spokane (53063)+, Whatcom (53073)+, Yakima (53077)+
WY Albany (56001), Big Horn (56003), Carbon (56007), Converse (56009)*, Fremont (56013), Hot Springs (56017), Johnson (56019), Lincoln (56023), Natrona (56025), Park (56029), Platte (56031)*, Sheridan (56033), Sublette (56035), Sweetwater (56037), Teton (56039), Uinta (56041), Washakie (56043)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
03 St. Marys (03070204)+, Upper St. Johns (03080101)+, Oklawaha (03080102)+, Lower St. Johns (03080103)+, Cape Canaveral (03080202)+, Kissimmee (03090101)+, Western Okeechobee Inflow (03090103)+, Big Cypress Swamp (03090204)+, Caloosahatchee (03090205)+, Florida Southeast Coast (03090206)+, Peace (03100101)+, Myakka (03100102)+, Sarasota Bay (03100201)+, Little Manatee (03100203)+, Hillsborough (03100205)+, Tampa Bay (03100206)+, Crystal-Pithlachascotee (03100207)+, Waccasassa (03110101)+, Econfina-Steinhatchee (03110102)+, Upper Suwannee (03110201)+, Alapaha (03110202)+, withlacoochee (03110203)+, Perdido (03140106)+*, Perdido Bay (03140107)+*, Lower Coosa (03150107)+, Pascagoula (03170006)+*, Mississippi Coastal (03170009)+
04 St. Louis (04010201)+, Cloquet (04010202)+, St. Joseph (04050001)+, Black-Rocky (04110001)+, Oak Orchard-Twelvemile (04130001)+, Raquette (04150305)+, Missiquoi River (04150407)+, Lake Champlain (04150408)+
05 French (05010004)+, Middle Wabash-Deer (05120105)+, Tippecanoe (05120106)+, Middle Wabash-Little Vermilion (05120108)+, Vermilion (05120109)+, Little Wabash (05120114)+
07 Mississippi Headwaters (07010101)+, Leech Lake (07010102)+, Prairie-Willow (07010103)+, Elk-Nokasippi (07010104)+, Pine (07010105)+, Crow Wing (07010106)+, Redeye (07010107)+, Long Prairie (07010108)+, Platte-Spunk (07010201)+, Sauk (07010202)+, Clearwater-Elk (07010203)+, Crow (07010204)+, Twin Cities (07010206)+, Rum (07010207)+, Chippewa (07020005)+, Redwood (07020006)+, Middle Minnesota (07020007)+, Lower Minnesota (07020012)+, Upper St. Croix (07030001)+, Kettle (07030003)+, Snake (07030004)+, Lower St. Croix (07030005)+, Rush-Vermillion (07040001)+, Cannon (07040002)+, Buffalo-Whitewater (07040003)+, Zumbro (07040004)+, Root (07040008)+, Coon-Yellow (07060001)+, Apple-Plum (07060005)+, Upper Cedar (07080201)+, Shell Rock (07080202)+, Pecatonica (07090003)+, Kishwaukee (07090006)+, Green (07090007)+, Des Moines Headwaters (07100001)+, The Sny (07110004)+, Kankakee (07120001)+, Iroquois (07120002)+, Chicago (07120003)+, Des Plaines (07120004)+, Upper Illinois (07120005)+, Upper Fox (07120006)+, Lower Fox (07120007)+
08 Boeuf (08050001)+, Bayou Macon (08050002)+, Tensas (08050003)+, Bayou Teche (08080102)+, Vermilion (08080103)+*, Mermentau (08080202)+, Lower Calcasieu (08080206)+
09 Otter Tail (09020103)+, Upper Red (09020104)+, Buffalo (09020106)+, Elm-Marsh (09020107)+, Eastern Wild Rice (09020108)+, Sandhill-Wilson (09020301)+, Red Lakes (09020302)+, Red Lake (09020303)+, Thief (09020304)+, Clearwater (09020305)+, Grand Marais-Red (09020306)+, Snake (09020309)+, Lower Red (09020311)+, Two Rivers (09020312)+, Roseau (09020314)+, Rainy Headwaters (09030001)+, Vermilion (09030002)+, Little Fork (09030005)+, Big Fork (09030006)+, Rapid (09030007)+, Lower Rainy (09030008)+, Lake of the Woods (09030009)+
10 Madison (10020007)+*, Yellowstone Headwaters (10070001)+, Clarks Fork Yellowstone (10070006)+, Upper Wind (10080001)+, Little Wind (10080002)+*, Popo Agie (10080003)+, Lower Wind (10080005)+, Badwater (10080006)+, Upper Bighorn (10080007)+, Nowood (10080008)+, Greybull (10080009)+, Big Horn Lake (10080010)+, South Fork Shoshone (10080013)+*, Shoshone (10080014)+, Upper Tongue (10090101)+, Middle Fork Powder (10090201)+*, Upper Powder (10090202)+, North Platte Headwaters (10180001)+*, Upper North Platte (10180002)+, Pathfinder-Seminoe Reservoirs (10180003)+*, Medicine Bow (10180004)+, Little Medicine Bow (10180005)+, Sweetwater (10180006)+, Middle North Platte-Casper (10180007)+*, Glendo Reservoir (10180008)+*, Middle North Platte-Scotts Bluff (10180009)+, Upper Laramie (10180010)+, Lower Laramie (10180011)+*, Cache La Poudre (10190007)+, Tarkio-Wolf (10240005)+, West Fork Big Blue (10270203)+, Turkey (10270204)+, Upper Little Blue (10270206)+, Lower Missouri-Crooked (10300101)+, Lower Missouri-Moreau (10300102)+
11 Chico (11020004)+, Lower Salt Fork Arkansas (11060004)+, Upper Beaver (11100101)+, Washita headwaters (11130301)+, Upper Washita (11130302)+
13 Alamosa-Trinchera (13010002)+*
14 Colorado headwaters (14010001)+, Eagle (14010003)+*, Colorado headwaters-Plateau (14010005)+, Tomichi (14020003)+*, Lower Dolores (14030004)+, Upper Green (14040101)+, New Fork (14040102)+, Upper Green-Slate (14040103)+, Big Sandy (14040104)+, Upper Green-Flaming Gorge Reservoir (14040106)+, Blacks Fork (14040107)+, Muddy (14040108)+, Great Divide closed basin (14040200)+, Upper Yampa (14050001)+, Lower Yampa (14050002)+, Little Snake (14050003)+, Muddy (14050004)+*, Upper White (14050005)+, Strawberry (14060004)+*, Price (14060007)+, San Rafael (14060009)+
16 Upper Bear (16010101)+, Central Bear (16010102)+, Bear Lake (16010201)+, Middle Bear (16010202)+, Upper Weber (16020101)+, Lower Weber (16020102)+, Utah Lake (16020201)+*, Jordan (16020204)+*, Southern Great Salt Lake Desert (16020306)+, Truckee (16050102)+
17 Pend Oreille (17010216), Kettle (17020002), Chief Joseph (17020005), Wenatchee (17020011), Moses Coulee (17020012), Upper Crab (17020013), Banks Lake (17020014), Lower Crab (17020015), Upper Columbia-Priest Rapids (17020016), Lower Yakima, Washington (17030003), Snake headwaters (17040101)+, Gros Ventre (17040102)+, Greys-Hobock (17040103)+, Palisades (17040104)+*, Salt (17040105)+, Idaho Falls (17040201)+, Upper Henrys (17040202)+, Lower Henrys (17040203)+, Teton (17040204)+, Willow (17040205)+, American Falls (17040206)+, Blackfoot (17040207)+, Portneuf (17040208)+, Raft (17040210)+, Beaver-Camas (17040214)+, Medicine Lodge (17040215)+, Birch (17040216)+, Little Lost (17040217)+, Big Lost (17040218)+, Camas (17040220)+, Little Wood (17040221)+, Middle Owyhee (17050107)+, Jordan (17050108)+, Crooked-Rattlesnake (17050109)+, Lower Owyhee (17050110)+, Upper Malheur (17050116)+, Burnt (17050202)+, Powder (17050203)+, Upper Grande Ronde (17060104)+, Palouse (17060108), Upper Salmon (17060201)+, Pahsimeroi (17060202)+, Upper Middle Fork Salmon (17060205)+, South Fork Clearwater (17060305)+, Klickitat (17070106), North Fork John Day (17070202)+, Middle Fork John Day (17070203)+, Upper Deschutes (17070301)+, Little Deschutes (17070302)+, Beaver-South Fork (17070303)+, Upper Crooked (17070304)+, Lower Deschutes (17070306)+, Lower Columbia-Sandy (17080001)+, Lower Columbia-Clatskanie (17080003), Mckenzie (17090004)+, Clackamas (17090011)+, Lower Willamette (17090012), Upper Chehalis (17100103), Upper Rogue (17100307)+, Middle Rogue (17100308)+, Fraser (17110001), Nooksack (17110004), Harney-Malheur Lakes (17120001)+, Silvies (17120002)+, Donner Und Blitzen (17120003)+, Silver (17120004)+, Summer Lake (17120005)+, Lake Abert (17120006)+, Warner Lakes (17120007)+, Guano (17120008)+, Alvord Lake (17120009)+
18 Williamson (18010201)+, Sprague (18010202)+, Upper Klamath Lake (18010203)+, Lost (18010204)+, Butte (18010205)+, Upper Klamath (18010206)+, Shasta (18010207)+, Scott (18010208)+, Goose Lake (18020001)+, Upper Pit (18020002)+, Lower Pit (18020003)+, Sacramento-Stone Corral (18020104)+*, North Fork Feather (18020121)+, East Branch North Fork Feather (18020122)+, Middle Fork Feather (18020123)+, Upper Yuba (18020125)+, Butte Creek (18020158)+, Honcut Headwaters-Lower Feather (18020159)+*, Surprise Valley (18080001)+, Madeline Plains (18080002)+, Honey-Eagle Lakes (18080003)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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General Description: Sandhill cranes are tall, long-necked, long-legged birds with a clump of feathers that droops over the rump. They fly with the neck and legs fully extended. Adults are gray overall (may have brownish-red staining resulting from preening with muddy bill), with a whitish chin, cheek, and upper throat, and dull red skin on the crown and lores (lacking in immatures). Immatures have a pale to tawny, feathered head and neck, and a gray body with brownish-red mottling. Average length is around 41 inches( 104 cm), wingspan about 73 inches (185 cm), but size varies geogrpahically.
Reproduction Comments: Nests may contain eggs from late February to late May in Florida (mean laying date mid-March), mainly in April in mid-U.S., and primarily mid-May in the north. Both sexes, in turn, incubate usually 2 eggs 28-30 days. Young are tended by both parents, begin flying at about 2 months, remain with parents until following year. Usually only one chick survives to fledging.

Females usually renest if a clutch lost or abandoned (interval between clutches 18-20 days in Florida, Nesbitt 1988). Individuals may pair as early as age 3 years, but more commonly at 5-6 years. In mid-continental North America, most recruitment is by cranes older than 7 years.

Ecology Comments: Gregarious in winter and in migration.
Non-Migrant: Y
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: Y
Mobility and Migration Comments: Nesting populations in Alaska arrive on breeding grounds from late April to mid-May, depart mainly from late August to early October, arrive in California in December and in Texas from October to January. Migrants depart California beginning in late February. Departure from Texas wintering areas occurs mainly from late February to early March.

Populations of nesting in the contiguous western United States depart breeding grounds from September to November. Cranes from the Rocky Mountain population arrive in the San Luis Valley (Colorado) by late August, peak in October, depart in November. Northbound cranes arrive back in San Luis Valley in early Februry, depart mainly in late March-early April, arrive back on nesting areas in early April.

Eastern nesting populations depart nesting areas from late September to early December, with peak departures in early October. They arrive on Florida wintering areas by late October, with most arrivals by mid-November to mid-December. Departure from Florida occurs from late February to early April (mainly early March. Arrival in nesting areas occurs primarily in early to mid-April. The Jasper-Pulaski Game Area in northwestern Indiana is the only known major fall staging area for the eastern population (Johnsgard 1983).

North Platte and Platte River valleys are important spring staging areas, early March to mid-April; the Platte Valley harbors (in late March) the largest crane concentration in the world; in 1985, total spring population in Platte Valley was estimated at 515,000.

About 150,00-200,000 of the mid-continent migrants move through upper Tanana River Valley in eastern Alaska, primarily late April to mid-May and late August-early October (especially second half of September); these summer in most of interior and western Alaska and northeastern Siberia, and winter mostly in eastern New Mexico, western Texas, and adjacent northern Mexico (Kessel 1984). Another 22,000-25,000 move north from central California through the interior of British Columbia and stage on the Copper River Delta, Alaska (Littlefield and Thompson 1982; C. D. Littlefield, pers. comm., in Campbell et al. 1990).

More than half of the wintering population of large sandhill cranes in the Central Valley of California may originate in coastal and interior British Columbia (Pogson and Lindstedt 1991).

See Johnsgard (1983, 1991) for fairly detailed maps indicating the fall migration routes of various populations.

Subspecies PRATENSIS and PULLA are resident along sections of the Gulf Coast.

Riverine Habitat(s): Low gradient, Moderate gradient
Lacustrine Habitat(s): Shallow water
Palustrine Habitat(s): Bog/fen, HERBACEOUS WETLAND, Riparian
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Cropland/hedgerow, Grassland/herbaceous, Tundra
Habitat Comments: Breeding habitat includes open grasslands, marshes, marshy edges of lakes and ponds, and river banks (Terres 1980). Nests are on the ground or in shallow water on open tundra, large marshes, bogs, fens, or wet forest meadows. Individuals exhibit high fidelity to breeding territories (see Littlefield 1995). During the nonbreeding season, sandhill cranes roost at night in shallow water along river channels, on alluvial islands of braided rivers, or in natural basin wetlands. A communal roost site consisting of an open expanse of shallow water is a key feature of wintering habitat (California Department of Fish and Game 1990). Along the North Platte River in spring, roosts are generally in shallow water (< 20 cm), 11-50 m from the nearest visual obstruction, and away from paved or gravel roads, single dwellings, and bridges (Norling et al. 1992). See also Folk and Tacha (1990) for a description of roost site characteristics in the North Platte River Valley. Cranes migrating in spring through interior Alaska often roost on river overflow ice of the Tanana River or on the ice of ponds and lakes (Johnsgard 1991). Feeding and resting often occur in fields and agricultural lands.
Adult Food Habits: Carnivore, Frugivore, Granivore, Herbivore, Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Carnivore, Frugivore, Granivore, Herbivore, Invertivore
Food Comments: Feeds on roots, tubers, seeds, grain, berries, small vertebrates (mice, lemmings, birds, snakes, lizards, etc.), earthworms, and insects. Forages in marshes, meadows, pastures, and fields (Terres 1980). Most food items are obtained on the surface of the ground or among low vegetation; also may use bill to dig out roots and tubers. Feeding in fields occurs primarily in nonbreeding areas. Young forage for invertebrates during first few weeks of life. In spring in Nebraska, forages in cornfields, native grasslands, and planted haylands, generally a few to several kilometers from roost site (Sparling and Krapu 1994).
Adult Phenology: Diurnal
Immature Phenology: Diurnal
Phenology Comments: In the Platte River area, flights from roosts occur primarily shortly after sunrise; often returns to roost site around sunset (Johnsgard 1983).
Length: 104 centimeters
Weight: 5797 grams
Economic Attributes
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Economic Comments: McIvor and Conover (1994) noted increasing depredation complaints from farmers growing corn and small grains in Utah. Winter depredation on alfalfa and chile has been a problem in the middle Rio Grande Valley, New Mexico; crane hunting season was extended to alleviate the problem (1993, End. Sp. Tech. Bull. 18(4):21, 26). See Buller (1979) and Johnson (1979) for extent and impact of hunting in Central Flyway.
Management Summary
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Management Requirements: Current management of crane roosting habitat in Nebraska includes maintenance of water flows and costly mechanical removal of woody vegetation (see Folk and Tacha 1990). See California Department of Fish and Game (1990) for a brief summary of habitat protection efforts in California, where most wintering sites of large sandhill cranes are in private ownership and the majority of the nocturnal roosts are on privately owned waterfowl hunting areas (Pogson and Lindstedt 1991). See Littlefield and Paullin (1990) for information on the effect of land management on nesting success in Oregon.

Under conditions of low visibility, sandhill cranes are very susceptible to collisions with powerlines (Biosystems Analysis 1989). In Nebraska, yellow aviation balls were effective in reducing collisions with powerlines (Morkill and Anderson 1991).

See Wheeler and Lewis (1972) for trapping/banding techniques. See Zwank and Wilson (1987) for information on successful release of captive, parent-reared cranes of endangered Mississippi subspecies PULLA.

Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Use Class: Breeding
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of breeding (including historical); and potential recurring breeding at a given location, minimally a reliable observation of one or more breeding pairs in appropriate habitat. Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single breeding events outside the normal breeding distribution.
Separation Barriers: None.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 15 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 15 km
Separation Justification: Based on large home ranges of about 2100 hectares; in Florida, home ranges averaged 447 hectares for 20 adult pairs and 2,132 hectares for 9 subadults (Nesbitt and Williams 1990).
Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): 2.4 km
Inferred Minimum Extent Justification: Based on an average home range of an adult pair of 447 hectares (Nesbitt and Williams 1990).
Date: 09Oct2001
Author: Cannings, S. G.

Use Class: Migratory stopover
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of recurring presence of migrating flocks (including historical); and potential recurring presence at a given location, minimally a reliable observation of 50 birds in appropriate habitat. Occurrences should be locations where the species is resident for some time during the appropriate season; it is preferable to have observations documenting presence over at least 7 days annually. Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single events.
Separation Barriers: None.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 10 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 10 km
Separation Justification: Arbitrary distance; occurrences defined primarily on the basis of areas supporting concentrations of roosting or foraging birds, rather than on the basis of distinct populations.
Date: 17Apr2002
Author: Cannings, S.

Use Class: Nonbreeding
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of recurring presence of wintering flocks (including historical); and potential recurring presence at a given location, minimally a reliable observation of 50 birds in appropriate habitat. Occurrences should be locations where the species is resident for some time during the appropriate season; it is preferable to have observations documenting presence over at least 20 days annually. Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single events.
Separation Barriers: None.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 10 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 10 km
Separation Justification: Arbitrary distance; occurrences defined primarily on the basis of areas supporting concentrations of roosting or foraging birds, rather than on the basis of distinct populations.
Date: 17Apr2002
Author: Cannings, S.
Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 01Feb2010
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Hammerson, G.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 01Feb2010
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Hammerson, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

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