By Kurt Heine
Sandhill Crane (Grus canadensis)
Height: 3-5 ft
Weight: 6.5-14 lbs
Wingspan: 5-6 ft
Diet: tubers, grains, invertebrates (especially insects), small vertebrates (rodents, snakes, etc.), and alfalfa.
Average life span: 20 years
Grus canadensis canadensis (Lesser Sandhill)
Grus canadensis tabida (Greater Sandhill)
Grus canadensis rowani (Canadian Sandhill)
Grus canadensis pratensis (Florida Sandhill)
Grus canadensis pulla (Mississippi Sandhill)
Grus canadensis nesiotes (Cuban Sandhill)
Contact call: This soft, low pitched call is used to keep in contact with other cranes in heavy cover such as tall grasses.
Unison call: The unison call is uttered by pairs of cranes, usually standing close to each other. It reinforces the bond between pairs but can also be used by a pair to scare off potential predators.
Guard call: When a big group of sandhill cranes is sleeping or when they have paired up in breeding grounds, at least one crane is standing guard against predators. This is the call they make when they see or hear something threatening.
International Crane Foundation