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Adults are gray overall; during breeding, the plumage is usually much worn and stained, particularly in the migratory populations, and looks nearly ochre. The average weight of the larger male is 4.57 kg (10.1 lb), while the average weight of females is 4.02 kg (8.9 lb), with a range of 2.7 to 6.7 kg (6.0 to 15 lb) across the subspecies. The Sandhill Crane has a red forehead, white cheeks and a long dark pointed bill. Its long dark legs trail behind in flight, and the long neck is kept straight in flight. Immature birds have reddish brown upperparts and gray underparts. The sexes look alike. Size varies among the different subspecies. This crane frequently gives a loud trumpeting call that suggests a French-style "r" rolled in the throat, and they can be heard from a long distance.
Most sandhill crane populations nest in open grasslands, such as wet meadows, and freshwater marshes or bogs. There are six subspecies of sandhill cranes, and each typically nests in the open, wet grassland habitats of their region. The Cuban population of sandhill cranes (Grus canadensis nesiotes) is an exception, inhabiting dry, isolated regions, sometimes in rocky and mountainous terrain.
Spotted on Jan 24, 2012
Submitted on Jan 25, 2012
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