Sandhill Crane Antigone canadensis



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Tall, heavy-bodied bird with a long neck and long legs. Drooping feathers form a “bustle” around its back end. Gray overall with some tan body feathers. Note red crown.


Large bird with broad wings. Flies with its neck stretched out and feet trailing behind.


Immature birds have a rusty crown and back of the neck. They also have more rusty plumage on their back and wings.

Adult with juveniles

Young can stand and walk shortly after hatching, but adults care for the chicks for up to 10 months.


Performs dances to attract mates. Displaying birds stretch their wings, pump their heads, bow, and leap into the air.


Nests in shallow wetlands where it builds a mounded nest out of reeds, sedges, and grasses on the ground, often above standing water.


Adults have a bright red crown and a large dark bill.


Forages for seeds, reptiles, amphibians, small mammals, and insects in open grasslands, fields, and wetlands.


Migrates and winters in extremely large flocks, numbering into the tens of thousands. Found in open prairies, grasslands, and wetlands.

Recommended Citation

Sandhill Crane (Antigone canadensis), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: