Sandhill Crane

Sandhill Crane

Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center’s Sandhill Cranes came from the Knoxville Zoo. They are on long-term loan from Patuxent Wildlife Research Center.

This male and female are a bonded pair, both born in 1985 in captivity. Sandhill Cranes can live up to 80 years in captivity!

What to watch for:

  • The Sandhill Crane’s call is a loud, rolling, trumpeting sound whose unique tone is a product of anatomy:  Sandhill Cranes have long tracheas that coil into the sternum and help the sound develop a lower pitch and harmonics that add richness.
  • Sandhill Cranes are known for their dancing skills. Courting cranes stretch their wings, pump their heads, bow, and leap into the air in a graceful and energetic dance.

Fun Facts:

  • The earliest Sandhill Crane fossil, estimated to be 2.5 million years old, was unearthed in the Macasphalt Shell Pit in Florida.
  • Sandhill Crane chicks can leave the nest within 8 hours of hatching, and are even capable of swimming.
  • The oldest Wild Sandhill Crane on record was at least 36 years, 7 months old. Originally banded in Wyoming in 1973, it was found in New Mexico in 2010.

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Sandhill Cranes