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Sand Hill Crane

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The sandhill crane (Antigone canadensis) is a species of large crane of North America and extreme northeastern Siberia. The common name of this bird refers to habitat like that at the Platte River, on the edge of Nebraska's Sandhills on the American Plains. This is the most important stopover area for the nominotypical subspecies, the lesser sandhill crane (Antigone canadensis canadensis), with up to 450,000 of these birds migrating through annually.

The sandhill crane was formerly placed in the genus Grus, but a molecular phylogenetic study published in 2010 found that the genus, as then defined, was polyphyletic.[2] In the resulting rearrangement to create monophyletic genera, four species, including the sandhill crane, were placed in the resurrected genus Antigone that had originally been erected by the German naturalist Ludwig Reichenbach in 1853.[3][4] The specific epithet canadensis is the modern Latin word for "Canadian"
These cranes frequently give a loud, trumpeting call that suggests a rolled "r" 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 one from the male.

Sandhill cranes' large wingspans, typically 1.65 to 2.30 m (5 ft 5 in to 7 ft 7 in), make them very skilled soaring birds, similar in style to hawks and eagles.[11] Using thermals to obtain lift, they can stay aloft for many hours, requiring only occasional flapping of their wings, thus expending little energy. Migratory flocks contain hundreds of birds, and can create clear outlines of the normally invisible rising columns of air (thermals) they ride.

Sandhill cranes fly south for the winter. In their wintering areas, they form flocks over 10,000. One place this happens is at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, 100 mi (160 km) south of Albuquerque, New Mexico. An annual Sandhill Crane Festival is held there in November.
Sandhill cranes have one of the longest fossil histories of any extant bird.[14] A 10-million-year-old crane fossil from Nebraska is said to be of this species,[15] but this may be from a prehistoric relative or the direct ancestor of sandhill cranes, and not belong in the genus Grus. The oldest unequivocal sandhill crane fossil is 2.5 million years old,[16] older by half than the earliest remains of most living species of birds, 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 present-day birds, those Pliocene fossils are sometimes described as new species.[17] Grus haydeni may have been a prehistoric relative, or it may comprise material of a sandhill crane and its ancestor.
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Wouldn't love them so much if you're jogging past two parents and don't see the kids around!!! I'm 5'4" and they're heads are nearly level with my eyes. Do NOT want to get a face-pecking!!!!!

Thanks for the lovely pic! Good night.

Love these big birds and I loved putting this one together. Thank you!

A good-looking bird. Thanks for the scientific education, as well as the fun puzzle, Mischa.

Donnajames

I was unaware we had these cranes in the US. See, I learn something new every day on this site. :-)) dj

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