Florida Sandhill Crane
Crus canadensis

CLASS: Aves
ORDER: Gruiformes
FAMILY: Gruidae

SIZE:
3.5 to 4 feet tall

RANGE:
Along Gulf Coast of U.S. from California to Florida

HABITAT:
Moors and marshes, wetlands

DIET:
Wild - Plant material in native areas, small animals such as worms, snails, insects, and sometimes frogs, mice and lizards.

Zoo - Grains, crane diet, meat

DESCRIPTION:
Brownish gray body and legs with red topped head; long, sharp beak

ADAPTATIONS:

  • Somewhat aggressive birds, very protective of mate, nest and young
  • Sandhills moult once a year
  • Loud call when startled or when communicating
  • The renowned dances once believed to be mating rituals are actually expressions of joy.

YOUNG:
Usually lay 2 eggs in nests built of straw, sticks, or whatever is available. When young hatch, they are covered in golden brown downy feathers.