Illinois Natural History Survey - University of Illinois

Sandhill crane
Grus canadensis

 

Taxonomy
Occurence in Illinois
Status
Habitat associations
Guilds
Food-habits
Environmental associations
Life history
Management practices
References


TAXONOMY

 

  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Gruiformes
  • Family: Rallidae
  • Genus: Grus
  • Species: Grus canadensis
  • Authority: Linnaeus

Comments on taxonomy:
Recorded by Linnaeus, 1758 (Syst. Nat., Ed. 10, 1, P. 141). Type local: Hudson Bay *02*. Six subspp. or races recognized, three which are sedentary: G.c. pulla, Mississippi sandhill crane (threatened); G.c. nesiotes, Cuban sandhill crane (threatened); and G.c. pratensis, Florida sandhill crane. Three which are migratory populations include: G.c. canadensis, lesser sandhill crane; G.c. rowani, Canadian sandhill crane; and G.c. tabida, greater sandhill crane - the largest race and probably the subspp. seen in Il. Other common names include baldhead, blue crane, brown crane, garoo, gray crane, little brown crane, sandhill whooper, upland crane *03*.

 


OCCURENCE IN ILLINOIS

Uncommon migrant in north. Rare migrant in central and south. Most west/southeast across northern part of state, probably when moving to and from Jasper-Pulaski preserve in Indiana. Was formerly a summer resident - last known nest in Champaign Co., 1872. Migration times mid-March to early May, then early October to early November *01*.

 


STATUS

Items in bold indicate applicable categories
Forest Service Categories: S = recommended for regional sensitive status, F = forest listed species, M = management indicator species

Federal Status:

Endangered Threatened Proposed for listing
Candidate for proposal Recovery plan approved Recovery plan received (USFWS)
Recovery plan in preparation Under notice of review Delisted
Migratory EPA indicator Forest Serv.- Shawnee species

State Status:

Endangered Threatened Proposed

Other:

Game Furbearer Nongame protected
Sportfish Commercial Pest None of the above

Comments on status:
Is considered a game spp. and is hunted in other states, however, in IL, is regarded as a non-game spp. and is protected under IL Wildlife Code laws, 1971 *04*. Is also protected under Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act, 1918 *05*. Two subspecies are federally listed as endangered: G.c. pulla, Mississippi sandhill crane and G.c. nesiotes, Cuban sandhill crane *03*.


HABITAT ASSOCIATIONS

Items in bold indicate applicable categories

General habitat:

Unknown Terrestrial Aquatic Riparian

USFS timber inventory forest size class:

Unknown Unstocked Seedling Sapling
Seedling/sapling Pole Mature Over mature

Land use and land cover:

Unknown   Urban Residential
Commercial
Industrial
Transportation, communication
Complex industrial/commercial
Mixed
Other
Agricultural Crop, pasture
Orchards, groves, nurseries
Feedlot
Other
Rangeland Herbaceous
Shrub and brush
Mixed
Forestland Deciduous
Evergreen
Mixed
Water Stream
Lake
Reservoir
Bay
Wetland Forest
Non-forest
Barren Salt flat
Beach
Sand
Rock
Mine
Transit
Mix

 


Forest cover types:

Cover typeStructural stageCanopy closureSeason
Aspen Grass-forb Unknown All
Aspen Shrub-seedling
(trees 1" dia.)
Unknown All
Aspen Young tree
(1-9" dia.)
Unknown All
Aspen Mature
(9" dia. & 100 yrs. old)
Unknown All
Tamarack Grass-forb Unknown All
Tamarack Shrub-seedling
(trees 1" dia.)
Unknown All
Tamarack Young tree
(1-9" dia.)
Unknown All
Tamarack Mature
(9" dia. & 100 yrs. old)
Unknown All
White oak Grass-forb Unknown All
White oak Shrub-seedling
(trees 1" dia.)
Unknown All
White oak Young tree
(1-9" dia.)
Unknown All
White oak Mature
(9" dia. & 100 yrs. old)
Unknown All
Northern red oak Grass-forb Unknown All
Northern red oak Shrub-seedling
(trees 1" dia.)
Unknown All
Northern red oak Young tree
(1-9" dia.)
Unknown All
Northern red oak Mature
(9" dia. & 100 yrs. old)
Unknown All
Black oak Grass-forb Unknown All
Black oak Shrub-seedling
(trees 1" dia.)
Unknown All
Black oak Young tree
(1-9" dia.)
Unknown All
Black oak Mature
(9" dia. & 100 yrs. old)
Unknown All
White-red-jack pine Grass-forb Unknown All
White-red-jack pine Shrub-seedling
(trees 1" dia.)
Unknown All
White-red-jack pine Young tree
(1-9" dia.)
Unknown All
White-red-jack pine Mature
(9" dia. & 100 yrs. old)
Unknown All
Spruce-fir Grass-forb Unknown All
Spruce-fir Shrub-seedling
(trees 1" dia.)
Unknown All
Spruce-fir Young tree
(1-9" dia.)
Unknown All
Spruce-fir Mature
(9" dia. & 100 yrs. old)
Unknown All
Oak-hickory Grass-forb Unknown All
Oak-hickory Shrub-seedling
(trees 1" dia.)
Unknown All
Oak-hickory Young tree
(1-9" dia.)
Unknown All
Oak-hickory Mature
(9" dia. & 100 yrs. old)
Unknown All
Elm-ash-cottonwood Grass-forb Unknown All
Elm-ash-cottonwood Shrub-seedling
(trees 1" dia.)
Unknown All
Elm-ash-cottonwood Young tree
(1-9" dia.)
Unknown All
Elm-ash-cottonwood Mature
(9" dia. & 100 yrs. old)
Unknown All
Aspen-birch Grass-forb Unknown All
Aspen-birch Shrub-seedling
(trees 1" dia.)
Unknown All
Aspen-birch Young tree
(1-9" dia.)
Unknown All
Aspen-birch Mature
(9" dia. & 100 yrs. old)
Unknown All

Associated tree species:

  • Ash
  • Aspen
  • Quaking aspen
  • Basswood
  • Beech
  • Birch
  • Yellow birch
  • Butternut
  • Cherry
  • Wild black cherry
  • Dogwood
  • Elm
  • American elm
  • Slippery elm
  • Hawthorn
  • Hickory
  • Maple
  • Oak
  • Black oak
  • Red oak
  • White oak
  • Sumac
  • Walnut
  • Willow

National wetland inventory classifications: Intermittently exposed/permanent nontidal

SystemSubsystemClassSubclassWater regime modifiersWater chemistry
Lacustrine Littoral Emergent vegetation Persistent Intermittently exposed/permanent nontidal Freshwater
Lacustrine Littoral Emergent vegetation Nonpersistent Intermittently exposed/permanent nontidal Freshwater
Palustrine   Emergent vegetation Persistent Intermittently exposed/permanent nontidal Freshwater
Palustrine   Emergent vegetation Nonpersistent Intermittently exposed/permanent nontidal Freshwater
Riverine   Emergent vegetation Persistent   Freshwater
Riverine   Emergent vegetation Nonpersistent Intermittently exposed/permanent nontidal Freshwater

Comments on species-habitat associations:
Spp. is generally found in open grasslands, marshes, swampy edges of lakes, ponds, river banks *02,06,07*. Needs an open area marsh with dense vegetation (i.e. prairie potholes) for nesting. Feeds in nesting area or may fly to upland areas to eat *03,06,07*.

Important plant and animal association: No comments.

High value habitats

HabitatStructural stageSeason
Agricultural land Grass-forb All
Agricultural land Shrub-seedling
(trees 1" dia.)
All
Cropland and pasture Grass-forb All
Cropland and pasture Shrub-seedling
(trees 1" dia.)
All
Other agricultural land Grass-forb All
Other agricultural land Shrub-seedling
(trees 1" dia.)
All
Water Not applicable
(HVAL-HAB cover)
All
Lakes Not applicable
(HVAL-HAB cover)
All
Wetland Special habitat All
Wetland Grass-forb All
Wetland Shrub-seedling
(trees 1" dia.)
All
Wetland Young tree
(1-9" dia.)
All
Forested wetland Special habitat All
Forested wetland Grass-forb All
Forested wetland Shrub-seedling
(trees 1" dia.)
All
Forested wetland Young tree
(1-9" dia.)
All
Nonforested wetland Special habitat All
Nonforested wetland Grass-forb All
Nonforested wetland Shrub-seedling
(trees 1" dia.)
All
Nonforested wetland Young tree
(1-9" dia.)
All
Prairie Special habitat All
Prairie Grass-forb All
Prairie Shrub-seedling
(trees 1" dia.)
All
Prairie Young tree
(1-9" dia.)
All
Wet-mesic prarie Special habitat All
Wet-mesic prarie Grass-forb All
Wet-mesic prarie Shrub-seedling
(trees 1" dia.)
All
Wet-mesic prarie Young tree
(1-9" dia.)
All
Wet prairie Special habitat All
Wet prairie Grass-forb All
Wet prairie Shrub-seedling
(trees 1" dia.)
All
Wet prairie Young tree
(1-9" dia.)
All
Savanna Grass-forb All
Savanna Shrub-seedling
(trees 1" dia.)
All
Savanna Young tree
(1-9" dia.)
All
Mesic savanna Grass-forb All
Mesic savanna Shrub-seedling
(trees 1" dia.)
All
Mesic savanna Young tree
(1-9" dia.)
All
Marsh Special habitat All
Marsh Grass-forb All
Marsh Shrub-seedling
(trees 1" dia.)
All
Marsh Young tree
(1-9" dia.)
All
Swamp Special habitat All
Swamp Grass-forb All
Swamp Shrub-seedling
(trees 1" dia.)
All
Swamp Young tree
(1-9" dia.)
All
Shrub swamp Special habitat All
Shrub swamp Grass-forb All
Shrub swamp Shrub-seedling
(trees 1" dia.)
All
Shrub swamp Young tree
(1-9" dia.)
All
Graminoid bog Special habitat All
Graminoid bog Grass-forb All
Graminoid bog Shrub-seedling
(trees 1" dia.)
All
Graminoid bog Young tree
(1-9" dia.)
All
Low shrub bog Special habitat All
Low shrub bog Grass-forb All
Low shrub bog Shrub-seedling
(trees 1" dia.)
All
Low shrub bog Young tree
(1-9" dia.)
All
Sedge meadow Special habitat All
Sedge meadow Grass-forb All
Sedge meadow Shrub-seedling
(trees 1" dia.)
All
Sedge meadow Young tree
(1-9" dia.)
All
Lakes and ponds Not applicable
(HVAL-HAB cover)
All
Agricultural field Grass-forb All
Agricultural field Shrub-seedling
(trees 1" dia.)
All
Cropland Grass-forb All
Cropland Shrub-seedling
(trees 1" dia.)
All
Successional field Grass-forb All
Successional field Shrub-seedling
(trees 1" dia.)
All
Abandoned cropland Grass-forb All
Abandoned cropland Shrub-seedling
(trees 1" dia.)
All

Species-habitat interrelations: Generally found in open grasslands, marshy, swampy edges of lakes, ponds, river banks; also bogs *06,07*. Needs an open area marsh with dense vegetation (esp. prairie ponds) for nesting. Will feed at nesting area or may fly for miles to upland areas in agricultural fields, etc. *02,06,07*.

 


GUILDS

Feed-guilding:

HabitatStructural stageSeasonFeed-guilds
Agricultural land Grass-forb Fall/winter Terrestrial surface-flowers and fruits of grass/grasslike vegetation
Terrestrial surface-flowers and fruits of forbs
Terrestrial surface-leaves flowers, fruits, seeds of deciduous shrubs
Terrestrial surface-leaves, fruits, seeds of evergreen shrubs
Agricultural land Shrub-seedling
(trees 1" dia.)
Fall/winter Terrestrial surface-flowers and fruits of grass/grasslike vegetation
Terrestrial surface-flowers and fruits of forbs
Terrestrial surface-leaves flowers, fruits, seeds of deciduous shrubs
Terrestrial surface-leaves, fruits, seeds of evergreen shrubs
Agricultural land Young tree
(1-9" dia.)
Fall/winter Terrestrial surface-flowers and fruits of grass/grasslike vegetation
Terrestrial surface-flowers and fruits of forbs
Terrestrial surface-leaves flowers, fruits, seeds of deciduous shrubs
Terrestrial surface-leaves, fruits, seeds of evergreen shrubs
Wetland Special habitat Fall/winter Terrestrial surface-flowers and fruits of grass/grasslike vegetation
Terrestrial surface-flowers and fruits of forbs
Terrestrial surface-leaves flowers, fruits, seeds of deciduous shrubs
Terrestrial surface-leaves, fruits, seeds of evergreen shrubs
Wetland Grass-forb Fall/winter Terrestrial surface-flowers and fruits of grass/grasslike vegetation
Terrestrial surface-flowers and fruits of forbs
Terrestrial surface-leaves flowers, fruits, seeds of deciduous shrubs
Terrestrial surface-leaves, fruits, seeds of evergreen shrubs
Wetland Shrub-seedling
(trees 1" dia.)
Fall/winter Terrestrial surface-flowers and fruits of grass/grasslike vegetation
Terrestrial surface-flowers and fruits of forbs
Terrestrial surface-leaves flowers, fruits, seeds of deciduous shrubs
Terrestrial surface-leaves, fruits, seeds of evergreen shrubs
Wetland Young tree
(1-9" dia.)
Fall/winter Terrestrial surface-flowers and fruits of grass/grasslike vegetation
Terrestrial surface-flowers and fruits of forbs
Terrestrial surface-leaves flowers, fruits, seeds of deciduous shrubs
Terrestrial surface-leaves, fruits, seeds of evergreen shrubs
Wetland Special habitat Spring/summer Terrestrial subsurface-roots, tubers, rhizomes of herbaceous plants
Terrestrial subsurface-roots, tubers, rhizomes of woody plants
Terrestrial surface-flowers and fruits of grass/grasslike vegetation
Terrestrial surface-flowers and fruits of forbs
Terrestrial surface-leaves flowers, fruits, seeds of deciduous shrubs
Terrestrial surface-leaves, fruits, seeds of evergreen shrubs
Water surface- arthropods
Water surface- invertebrates other than zooplankton or arthropods
Water surface- fish
Water surface- amphibians
Water surface- reptiles
Water surface- birds
Water surface- mammals
Terrestrial surface- arthropods
Terrestrial surface- invertebrates other than arthropods
Terrestrial surface- amphibians
Terrestrial surface- reptiles
Terrestrial surface- birds
Terrestrial surface- small mammals (< 1 kg)
Wetland Grass-forb Spring/summer Terrestrial subsurface-roots, tubers, rhizomes of herbaceous plants
Terrestrial subsurface-roots, tubers, rhizomes of woody plants
Terrestrial surface-flowers and fruits of grass/grasslike vegetation
Terrestrial surface-flowers and fruits of forbs
Terrestrial surface-leaves flowers, fruits, seeds of deciduous shrubs
Terrestrial surface-leaves, fruits, seeds of evergreen shrubs
Water surface- arthropods
Water surface- invertebrates other than zooplankton or arthropods
Water surface- fish
Water surface- amphibians
Water surface- reptiles
Water surface- birds
Water surface- mammals
Terrestrial surface- arthropods
Terrestrial surface- invertebrates other than arthropods
Terrestrial surface- amphibians
Terrestrial surface- reptiles
Terrestrial surface- birds
Terrestrial surface- small mammals (< 1 kg)
Wetland Shrub-seedling
(trees 1" dia.)
Spring/summer Terrestrial subsurface-roots, tubers, rhizomes of herbaceous plants
Terrestrial subsurface-roots, tubers, rhizomes of woody plants
Terrestrial surface-flowers and fruits of grass/grasslike vegetation
Terrestrial surface-flowers and fruits of forbs
Terrestrial surface-leaves flowers, fruits, seeds of deciduous shrubs
Terrestrial surface-leaves, fruits, seeds of evergreen shrubs
Water surface- arthropods
Water surface- invertebrates other than zooplankton or arthropods
Water surface- fish
Water surface- amphibians
Water surface- reptiles
Water surface- birds
Water surface- mammals
Terrestrial surface- arthropods
Terrestrial surface- invertebrates other than arthropods
Terrestrial surface- amphibians
Terrestrial surface- reptiles
Terrestrial surface- birds
Terrestrial surface- small mammals (< 1 kg)
Wetland Young tress
(1-9" dia.)
Spring/summer Terrestrial subsurface-roots, tubers, rhizomes of herbaceous plants
Terrestrial subsurface-roots, tubers, rhizomes of woody plants
Terrestrial surface-flowers and fruits of grass/grasslike vegetation
Terrestrial surface-flowers and fruits of forbs
Terrestrial surface-leaves flowers, fruits, seeds of deciduous shrubs
Terrestrial surface-leaves, fruits, seeds of evergreen shrubs
Water surface- arthropods
Water surface- invertebrates other than zooplankton or arthropods
Water surface- fish
Water surface- amphibians
Water surface- reptiles
Water surface- birds
Water surface- mammals
Terrestrial surface- arthropods
Terrestrial surface- invertebrates other than arthropods
Terrestrial surface- amphibians
Terrestrial surface- reptiles
Terrestrial surface- birds
Terrestrial surface- small mammals (< 1 kg)
Wetland Special habitat Summer/fall Terrestrial subsurface-roots, tubers, rhizomes of herbaceous plants
Terrestrial subsurface-roots, tubers, rhizomes of woody plants
Terrestrial surface-flowers and fruits of grass/grasslike vegetation
Terrestrial surface-flowers and fruits of forbs
Terrestrial surface-leaves flowers, fruits, seeds of deciduous shrubs
Terrestrial surface-leaves, fruits, seeds of evergreen shrubs
Water surface- arthropods
Water surface- invertebrates other than zooplankton or arthropods
Water surface- fish
Water surface- amphibians
Water surface- reptiles
Water surface- birds
Water surface- mammals
Terrestrial surface- arthropods
Terrestrial surface- invertebrates other than arthropods
Terrestrial surface- amphibians
Terrestrial surface- reptiles
Terrestrial surface- birds
Terrestrial surface- small mammals (< 1 kg)
Wetland Grass-forb Summer/fall Terrestrial subsurface-roots, tubers, rhizomes of herbaceous plants
Terrestrial subsurface-roots, tubers, rhizomes of woody plants
Terrestrial surface-flowers and fruits of grass/grasslike vegetation
Terrestrial surface-flowers and fruits of forbs
Terrestrial surface-leaves flowers, fruits, seeds of deciduous shrubs
Terrestrial surface-leaves, fruits, seeds of evergreen shrubs
Water surface- arthropods
Water surface- invertebrates other than zooplankton or arthropods
Water surface- fish
Water surface- amphibians
Water surface- reptiles
Water surface- birds
Water surface- mammals
Terrestrial surface- arthropods
Terrestrial surface- invertebrates other than arthropods
Terrestrial surface- amphibians
Terrestrial surface- reptiles
Terrestrial surface- birds
Terrestrial surface- small mammals (< 1 kg)
Wetland Shrub-seedling
(trees 1" dia.)
Summer/fall Terrestrial subsurface-roots, tubers, rhizomes of herbaceous plants
Terrestrial subsurface-roots, tubers, rhizomes of woody plants
Terrestrial surface-flowers and fruits of grass/grasslike vegetation
Terrestrial surface-flowers and fruits of forbs
Terrestrial surface-leaves flowers, fruits, seeds of deciduous shrubs
Terrestrial surface-leaves, fruits, seeds of evergreen shrubs
Water surface- arthropods
Water surface- invertebrates other than zooplankton or arthropods
Water surface- fish
Water surface- amphibians
Water surface- reptiles
Water surface- birds
Water surface- mammals
Terrestrial surface- arthropods
Terrestrial surface- invertebrates other than arthropods
Terrestrial surface- amphibians
Terrestrial surface- reptiles
Terrestrial surface- birds
Terrestrial surface- small mammals (< 1 kg)
Wetland Young tress
(1-9" dia.)
Summer/fall Terrestrial subsurface-roots, tubers, rhizomes of herbaceous plants
Terrestrial subsurface-roots, tubers, rhizomes of woody plants
Terrestrial surface-flowers and fruits of grass/grasslike vegetation
Terrestrial surface-flowers and fruits of forbs
Terrestrial surface-leaves flowers, fruits, seeds of deciduous shrubs
Terrestrial surface-leaves, fruits, seeds of evergreen shrubs
Water surface- arthropods
Water surface- invertebrates other than zooplankton or arthropods
Water surface- fish
Water surface- amphibians
Water surface- reptiles
Water surface- birds
Water surface- mammals
Terrestrial surface- arthropods
Terrestrial surface- invertebrates other than arthropods
Terrestrial surface- amphibians
Terrestrial surface- reptiles
Terrestrial surface- birds
Terrestrial surface- small mammals (< 1 kg)
Upland forest Grass-forb Spring/summer Terrestrial subsurface-roots, tubers, rhizomes of herbaceous plants
Terrestrial subsurface-roots, tubers, rhizomes of woody plants
Terrestrial surface-flowers and fruits of grass/grasslike vegetation
Terrestrial surface-flowers and fruits of forbs
Terrestrial surface-leaves flowers, fruits, seeds of deciduous shrubs
Terrestrial surface-leaves, fruits, seeds of evergreen shrubs
Terrestrial surface- arthropods
Terrestrial surface- invertebrates other than arthropods
Terrestrial surface- amphibians
Terrestrial surface- reptiles
Terrestrial surface- birds
Terrestrial surface- small mammals (< 1 kg)
Upland forest Shrub-seedling
(trees 1" dia.)
Spring/summer Terrestrial subsurface-roots, tubers, rhizomes of herbaceous plants
Terrestrial subsurface-roots, tubers, rhizomes of woody plants
Terrestrial surface-flowers and fruits of grass/grasslike vegetation
Terrestrial surface-flowers and fruits of forbs
Terrestrial surface-leaves flowers, fruits, seeds of deciduous shrubs
Terrestrial surface-leaves, fruits, seeds of evergreen shrubs
Terrestrial surface- arthropods
Terrestrial surface- invertebrates other than arthropods
Terrestrial surface- amphibians
Terrestrial surface- reptiles
Terrestrial surface- birds
Terrestrial surface- small mammals (< 1 kg)
Upland forest Young tree
(1-9" dia)
Spring/summer Terrestrial subsurface-roots, tubers, rhizomes of herbaceous plants
Terrestrial subsurface-roots, tubers, rhizomes of woody plants
Terrestrial surface-flowers and fruits of grass/grasslike vegetation
Terrestrial surface-flowers and fruits of forbs
Terrestrial surface-leaves flowers, fruits, seeds of deciduous shrubs
Terrestrial surface-leaves, fruits, seeds of evergreen shrubs
Terrestrial surface- arthropods
Terrestrial surface- invertebrates other than arthropods
Terrestrial surface- amphibians
Terrestrial surface- reptiles
Terrestrial surface- birds
Terrestrial surface- small mammals (< 1 kg)
Upland forest Grass-forb Summer/fall Terrestrial subsurface-roots, tubers, rhizomes of herbaceous plants
Terrestrial subsurface-roots, tubers, rhizomes of woody plants
Terrestrial surface-flowers and fruits of grass/grasslike vegetation
Terrestrial surface-flowers and fruits of forbs
Terrestrial surface-leaves flowers, fruits, seeds of deciduous shrubs
Terrestrial surface-leaves, fruits, seeds of evergreen shrubs
Terrestrial surface- arthropods
Terrestrial surface- invertebrates other than arthropods
Terrestrial surface- amphibians
Terrestrial surface- reptiles
Terrestrial surface- birds
Terrestrial surface- small mammals (< 1 kg)
Upland forest Shrub-seedling
(trees 1" dia.)
Summer/fall Terrestrial subsurface-roots, tubers, rhizomes of herbaceous plants
Terrestrial subsurface-roots, tubers, rhizomes of woody plants
Terrestrial surface-flowers and fruits of grass/grasslike vegetation
Terrestrial surface-flowers and fruits of forbs
Terrestrial surface-leaves flowers, fruits, seeds of deciduous shrubs
Terrestrial surface-leaves, fruits, seeds of evergreen shrubs
Terrestrial surface- arthropods
Terrestrial surface- invertebrates other than arthropods
Terrestrial surface- amphibians
Terrestrial surface- reptiles
Terrestrial surface- birds
Terrestrial surface- small mammals (< 1 kg)
Upland forest Young tree
(1-9" dia)
Summer/fall Terrestrial subsurface-roots, tubers, rhizomes of herbaceous plants
Terrestrial subsurface-roots, tubers, rhizomes of woody plants
Terrestrial surface-flowers and fruits of grass/grasslike vegetation
Terrestrial surface-flowers and fruits of forbs
Terrestrial surface-leaves flowers, fruits, seeds of deciduous shrubs
Terrestrial surface-leaves, fruits, seeds of evergreen shrubs
Terrestrial surface- arthropods
Terrestrial surface- invertebrates other than arthropods
Terrestrial surface- amphibians
Terrestrial surface- reptiles
Terrestrial surface- birds
Terrestrial surface- small mammals (< 1 kg)
Prairie Grass-forb Spring/summer Terrestrial subsurface-roots, tubers, rhizomes of herbaceous plants
Terrestrial subsurface-roots, tubers, rhizomes of woody plants
Terrestrial surface-flowers and fruits of grass/grasslike vegetation
Terrestrial surface-flowers and fruits of forbs
Terrestrial surface-leaves flowers, fruits, seeds of deciduous shrubs
Terrestrial surface-leaves, fruits, seeds of evergreen shrubs
Terrestrial surface- arthropods
Terrestrial surface- invertebrates other than arthropods
Terrestrial surface- amphibians
Terrestrial surface- reptiles
Terrestrial surface- birds
Terrestrial surface- small mammals (< 1 kg)
Prairie Shrub-seedling
(trees 1" dia.)
Spring/summer Terrestrial subsurface-roots, tubers, rhizomes of herbaceous plants
Terrestrial subsurface-roots, tubers, rhizomes of woody plants
Terrestrial surface-flowers and fruits of grass/grasslike vegetation
Terrestrial surface-flowers and fruits of forbs
Terrestrial surface-leaves flowers, fruits, seeds of deciduous shrubs
Terrestrial surface-leaves, fruits, seeds of evergreen shrubs
Terrestrial surface- arthropods
Terrestrial surface- invertebrates other than arthropods
Terrestrial surface- amphibians
Terrestrial surface- reptiles
Terrestrial surface- birds
Terrestrial surface- small mammals (< 1 kg)
Prairie Young tree
(1-9" dia.)
Spring/summer Terrestrial subsurface-roots, tubers, rhizomes of herbaceous plants
Terrestrial subsurface-roots, tubers, rhizomes of woody plants
Terrestrial surface-flowers and fruits of grass/grasslike vegetation
Terrestrial surface-flowers and fruits of forbs
Terrestrial surface-leaves flowers, fruits, seeds of deciduous shrubs
Terrestrial surface-leaves, fruits, seeds of evergreen shrubs
Terrestrial surface- arthropods
Terrestrial surface- invertebrates other than arthropods
Terrestrial surface- amphibians
Terrestrial surface- reptiles
Terrestrial surface- birds
Terrestrial surface- small mammals (< 1 kg)
Prairie Grass-forb Summer/fall Terrestrial subsurface-roots, tubers, rhizomes of herbaceous plants
Terrestrial subsurface-roots, tubers, rhizomes of woody plants
Terrestrial surface-flowers and fruits of grass/grasslike vegetation
Terrestrial surface-flowers and fruits of forbs
Terrestrial surface-leaves flowers, fruits, seeds of deciduous shrubs
Terrestrial surface-leaves, fruits, seeds of evergreen shrubs
Terrestrial surface- arthropods
Terrestrial surface- invertebrates other than arthropods
Terrestrial surface- amphibians
Terrestrial surface- reptiles
Terrestrial surface- birds
Terrestrial surface- small mammals (< 1 kg)
Prairie Shrub-seedling
(trees 1" dia.)
Summer/fall Terrestrial subsurface-roots, tubers, rhizomes of herbaceous plants
Terrestrial subsurface-roots, tubers, rhizomes of woody plants
Terrestrial surface-flowers and fruits of grass/grasslike vegetation
Terrestrial surface-flowers and fruits of forbs
Terrestrial surface-leaves flowers, fruits, seeds of deciduous shrubs
Terrestrial surface-leaves, fruits, seeds of evergreen shrubs
Terrestrial surface- arthropods
Terrestrial surface- invertebrates other than arthropods
Terrestrial surface- amphibians
Terrestrial surface- reptiles
Terrestrial surface- birds
Terrestrial surface- small mammals (< 1 kg)
Prairie Young tree
(1-9" dia.)
Summer/fall Terrestrial subsurface-roots, tubers, rhizomes of herbaceous plants
Terrestrial subsurface-roots, tubers, rhizomes of woody plants
Terrestrial surface-flowers and fruits of grass/grasslike vegetation
Terrestrial surface-flowers and fruits of forbs
Terrestrial surface-leaves flowers, fruits, seeds of deciduous shrubs
Terrestrial surface-leaves, fruits, seeds of evergreen shrubs
Terrestrial surface- arthropods
Terrestrial surface- invertebrates other than arthropods
Terrestrial surface- amphibians
Terrestrial surface- reptiles
Terrestrial surface- birds
Agricultural field Grass-forb Spring/summer Terrestrial subsurface-roots, tubers, rhizomes of herbaceous plants
Terrestrial subsurface-roots, tubers, rhizomes of woody plants
Terrestrial surface-flowers and fruits of grass/grasslike vegetation
Terrestrial surface-flowers and fruits of forbs
Terrestrial surface-leaves flowers, fruits, seeds of deciduous shrubs
Terrestrial surface-leaves, fruits, seeds of evergreen shrubs
Terrestrial surface- arthropods
Terrestrial surface- invertebrates other than arthropods
Terrestrial surface- amphibians
Terrestrial surface- reptiles
Terrestrial surface- birds
Terrestrial surface- small mammals (< 1 kg)
Agricultural field Shrub-seedling
(trees 1" dia.)
Spring/summer Terrestrial subsurface-roots, tubers, rhizomes of herbaceous plants
Terrestrial subsurface-roots, tubers, rhizomes of woody plants
Terrestrial surface-flowers and fruits of grass/grasslike vegetation
Terrestrial surface-flowers and fruits of forbs
Terrestrial surface-leaves flowers, fruits, seeds of deciduous shrubs
Terrestrial surface-leaves, fruits, seeds of evergreen shrubs
Terrestrial surface- arthropods
Terrestrial surface- invertebrates other than arthropods
Terrestrial surface- amphibians
Terrestrial surface- reptiles
Terrestrial surface- birds
Terrestrial surface- small mammals (< 1 kg)
Agricultural field Young tree
(1-9" dia.)
Spring/summer Terrestrial subsurface-roots, tubers, rhizomes of herbaceous plants
Terrestrial subsurface-roots, tubers, rhizomes of woody plants
Terrestrial surface-flowers and fruits of grass/grasslike vegetation
Terrestrial surface-flowers and fruits of forbs
Terrestrial surface-leaves flowers, fruits, seeds of deciduous shrubs
Terrestrial surface-leaves, fruits, seeds of evergreen shrubs
Terrestrial surface- arthropods
Terrestrial surface- invertebrates other than arthropods
Terrestrial surface- amphibians
Terrestrial surface- reptiles
Terrestrial surface- birds
Terrestrial surface- small mammals (< 1 kg)
Agricultural field Grass-forb Summer/fall Terrestrial subsurface-roots, tubers, rhizomes of herbaceous plants
Terrestrial subsurface-roots, tubers, rhizomes of woody plants
Terrestrial surface-flowers and fruits of grass/grasslike vegetation
Terrestrial surface-flowers and fruits of forbs
Terrestrial surface-leaves flowers, fruits, seeds of deciduous shrubs
Terrestrial surface-leaves, fruits, seeds of evergreen shrubs
Terrestrial surface- arthropods
Terrestrial surface- invertebrates other than arthropods
Terrestrial surface- amphibians
Terrestrial surface- reptiles
Terrestrial surface- birds
Terrestrial surface- small mammals (< 1 kg)
Agricultural field Shrub-seedling
(trees 1" dia.)
Summer/fall Terrestrial subsurface-roots, tubers, rhizomes of herbaceous plants
Terrestrial subsurface-roots, tubers, rhizomes of woody plants
Terrestrial surface-flowers and fruits of grass/grasslike vegetation
Terrestrial surface-flowers and fruits of forbs
Terrestrial surface-leaves flowers, fruits, seeds of deciduous shrubs
Terrestrial surface-leaves, fruits, seeds of evergreen shrubs
Terrestrial surface- arthropods
Terrestrial surface- invertebrates other than arthropods
Terrestrial surface- amphibians
Terrestrial surface- reptiles
Terrestrial surface- birds
Terrestrial surface- small mammals (< 1 kg)
Agricultural field Young tree
(1-9" dia.)
Summer/fall Terrestrial subsurface-roots, tubers, rhizomes of herbaceous plants
Terrestrial subsurface-roots, tubers, rhizomes of woody plants
Terrestrial surface-flowers and fruits of grass/grasslike vegetation
Terrestrial surface-flowers and fruits of forbs
Terrestrial surface-leaves flowers, fruits, seeds of deciduous shrubs
Terrestrial surface-leaves, fruits, seeds of evergreen shrubs
Terrestrial surface- arthropods
Terrestrial surface- invertebrates other than arthropods
Terrestrial surface- amphibians
Terrestrial surface- reptiles
Terrestrial surface- birds

Comments on feed-guilding:
In winter, feeds more on newly planted or harvested wheat, corn, sorghum. In summer, feeds around breeding marshes or may fly to nearby meadows or upland areas to feed. Summer diet consists of tubers, grain, berries, seeds, small mammals, birds, crayfish, snakes, lizards, frogs, insects, etc. *03,07*.

Breed-guilding:

HabitatStructural stageSeasonBreed-Guilds
Wetland Special habitat Spring/summer Surface of water column-river/lake/marsh, unconsolidated rooted herbaceous plants
Surface of water column-river/lake/marsh, unconsolidated rooted woody plants
River/lake/marsh, open water
River/lake/marsh, vascular plants- floating, nonwoody, rooted
River/lake/marsh, vascular plants- floating, woody, rooted
River/lake/marsh, vascular plants- emergent, nonwoody
River/lake/marsh, vascular plants- emergent, woody
Terrestrial surface, marshy areas with hydrophytes but not hydric soils
Wetland Grass-forb Spring/summer Surface of water column-river/lake/marsh, unconsolidated rooted herbaceous plants
Surface of water column-river/lake/marsh, unconsolidated rooted woody plants
River/lake/marsh, open water
River/lake/marsh, vascular plants- floating, nonwoody, rooted
River/lake/marsh, vascular plants- floating, woody, rooted
River/lake/marsh, vascular plants- emergent, nonwoody
River/lake/marsh, vascular plants- emergent, woody
Terrestrial surface, marshy areas with hydrophytes but not hydric soils
Wetland Shrub-seedling
(trees 1" dia.)
Spring/summer Surface of water column-river/lake/marsh, unconsolidated rooted herbaceous plants
Surface of water column-river/lake/marsh, unconsolidated rooted woody plants
River/lake/marsh, open water
River/lake/marsh, vascular plants- floating, nonwoody, rooted
River/lake/marsh, vascular plants- floating, woody, rooted
River/lake/marsh, vascular plants- emergent, nonwoody
River/lake/marsh, vascular plants- emergent, woody
Terrestrial surface, marshy areas with hydrophytes but not hydric soils
Wetland Young tree
(1-9" dia.)
Spring/summer Surface of water column-river/lake/marsh, unconsolidated rooted herbaceous plants
Surface of water column-river/lake/marsh, unconsolidated rooted woody plants
River/lake/marsh, open water
River/lake/marsh, vascular plants- floating, nonwoody, rooted
River/lake/marsh, vascular plants- floating, woody, rooted
River/lake/marsh, vascular plants- emergent, nonwoody
River/lake/marsh, vascular plants- emergent, woody
Terrestrial surface, marshy areas with hydrophytes but not hydric soils
Forested wetland Special habitat Spring/summer Surface of water column-river/lake/marsh, unconsolidated rooted herbaceous plants
Surface of water column-river/lake/marsh, unconsolidated rooted woody plants
River/lake/marsh, open water
River/lake/marsh, vascular plants- floating, nonwoody, rooted
River/lake/marsh, vascular plants- floating, woody, rooted
River/lake/marsh, vascular plants- emergent, nonwoody
River/lake/marsh, vascular plants- emergent, woody
Terrestrial surface, marshy areas with hydrophytes but not hydric soils
Forested wetland Grass-forb Spring/summer Surface of water column-river/lake/marsh, unconsolidated rooted herbaceous plants
Surface of water column-river/lake/marsh, unconsolidated rooted woody plants
River/lake/marsh, open water
River/lake/marsh, vascular plants- floating, nonwoody, rooted
River/lake/marsh, vascular plants- floating, woody, rooted
River/lake/marsh, vascular plants- emergent, nonwoody
River/lake/marsh, vascular plants- emergent, woody
Terrestrial surface, marshy areas with hydrophytes but not hydric soils
Forested wetland Shrub-seedling
(trees 1" dia.)
Spring/summer Surface of water column-river/lake/marsh, unconsolidated rooted herbaceous plants
Surface of water column-river/lake/marsh, unconsolidated rooted woody plants
River/lake/marsh, open water
River/lake/marsh, vascular plants- floating, nonwoody, rooted
River/lake/marsh, vascular plants- floating, woody, rooted
River/lake/marsh, vascular plants- emergent, nonwoody
River/lake/marsh, vascular plants- emergent, woody
Terrestrial surface, marshy areas with hydrophytes but not hydric soils
Forested wetland Young tree
(1-9" dia.)
Spring/summer Surface of water column-river/lake/marsh, unconsolidated rooted herbaceous plants
Surface of water column-river/lake/marsh, unconsolidated rooted woody plants
River/lake/marsh, open water
River/lake/marsh, vascular plants- floating, nonwoody, rooted
River/lake/marsh, vascular plants- floating, woody, rooted
River/lake/marsh, vascular plants- emergent, nonwoody
River/lake/marsh, vascular plants- emergent, woody
Terrestrial surface, marshy areas with hydrophytes but not hydric soils
Nonforested wetland Special habitat Spring/summer Surface of water column-river/lake/marsh, unconsolidated rooted herbaceous plants
Surface of water column-river/lake/marsh, unconsolidated rooted woody plants
River/lake/marsh, open water
River/lake/marsh, vascular plants- floating, nonwoody, rooted
River/lake/marsh, vascular plants- floating, woody, rooted
River/lake/marsh, vascular plants- emergent, nonwoody
River/lake/marsh, vascular plants- emergent, woody
Terrestrial surface, marshy areas with hydrophytes but not hydric soils
Nonforested wetland Grass-forb Spring/summer Surface of water column-river/lake/marsh, unconsolidated rooted herbaceous plants
Surface of water column-river/lake/marsh, unconsolidated rooted woody plants
River/lake/marsh, open water
River/lake/marsh, vascular plants- floating, nonwoody, rooted
River/lake/marsh, vascular plants- floating, woody, rooted
River/lake/marsh, vascular plants- emergent, nonwoody
River/lake/marsh, vascular plants- emergent, woody
Terrestrial surface, marshy areas with hydrophytes but not hydric soils
Nonforested wetland Shrub-seedling
(trees 1" dia.)
Spring/summer Surface of water column-river/lake/marsh, unconsolidated rooted herbaceous plants
Surface of water column-river/lake/marsh, unconsolidated rooted woody plants
River/lake/marsh, open water
River/lake/marsh, vascular plants- floating, nonwoody, rooted
River/lake/marsh, vascular plants- floating, woody, rooted
River/lake/marsh, vascular plants- emergent, nonwoody
River/lake/marsh, vascular plants- emergent, woody
Terrestrial surface, marshy areas with hydrophytes but not hydric soils
Nonforested wetland Young tree
(1-9" dia.)
Spring/summer Surface of water column-river/lake/marsh, unconsolidated rooted herbaceous plants
Surface of water column-river/lake/marsh, unconsolidated rooted woody plants
River/lake/marsh, open water
River/lake/marsh, vascular plants- floating, nonwoody, rooted
River/lake/marsh, vascular plants- floating, woody, rooted
River/lake/marsh, vascular plants- emergent, nonwoody
River/lake/marsh, vascular plants- emergent, woody
Terrestrial surface, marshy areas with hydrophytes but not hydric soils

Comments on breed-guilding:
Nests in open area marsh with dense vegetation such as sedges, grasses, phrogmites, rushes, or leather-leaf *07*. Nest seems to need to be surrounded by water. In some studies, the birds moved the nest after an area of the pond dried up *06*.


FOOD-HABITS

Trophic level is OMNIVORE.

Food itemLife stage/plant part
Ericaceae (heath, blueberry, wintergreen) Fruit/seeds
Solanaceae (tobacco, tomato) Roots
Solanaceae (tobacco, tomato) Tubers
Monocotyledonae (monocots) Fruit/seeds
Poaceae (grass): corn Fruit/seeds
Poaceae (grass): wheat Fruit/seeds
Poaceae (grass): barley Fruit/seeds
Poaceae (grass): broom corn, sorgum Fruit/seeds
Annelida (segmented worms) Unknown
Annelida: Oligochaetas (earthworms) Adult
Arthropoda Unknown
Arachnida (spiders, ticks, scorpions, daddy longlegs) Unknown
Malacostraca (isopods, amphipods, crayfishes) Adult
Insecta Larva
Insecta Adult
Orthoptera (grasshoppers, crickets, cockroaches) Adult
Coleoptera (beetles) Adult
Osteichthyes (bony fishes) Unknown
Atheriniformes (killfishes, livebearers, silversides) Unknown
Amphibians Juvenile
Amphibians Adult
Salientia (frogs, toads) Juvenile
Salientia (frogs, toads) Adult
Reptiles Juvenile
Reptiles Adult
Sauria (lizards, skinks, iguana) Juvenile
Sauria (lizards, skinks, iguana) Adult
Serpentes (snakes) Juvenile
Serpentes (snakes) Adult
Mammals Juvenile
Mammals Adult
Cricetidae (woodrats, mice, voles, lemmings, muskrats) Juvenile
Cricetidae (woodrats, mice, voles, lemmings, muskrats) Adult
Muridae (Norway rat, house mouse) Juvenile
Muridae (Norway rat, house mouse) Adult
Birds See comments
Plants and animals not included on list See comments
Juvenile:
Insecta Larva
Insecta Adult
Plants and animals not included on list See comments
Adult:
Ericaceae (heath, blueberry, wintergreen) Fruit/seeds
Solanaceae (tobacco, tomato) Roots
Solanaceae (tobacco, tomato) Tubers
Monocotyledonae (monocots) Fruit/seeds
Poaceae (grass): corn Fruit/seeds
Poaceae (grass): wheat Fruit/seeds
Poaceae (grass): barley Fruit/seeds
Poaceae (grass): broom corn, sorgum Fruit/seeds
Annelida (segmented worms) Unknown
Annelida: Oligochaetas (earthworms) Adult
Arthropoda Unknown
Arachnida (spiders, ticks, scorpions, daddy longlegs) Unknown
Malacostraca (isopods, amphipods, crayfishes) Adult
Insecta Larva
Insecta Adult
Orthoptera (grasshoppers, crickets, cockroaches) Adult
Coleoptera (beetles) Adult
Osteichthyes (bony fishes) Unknown
Atheriniformes (killfishes, livebearers, silversides) Unknown
Amphibians Juvenile
Amphibians Adult
Salientia (frogs, toads) Juvenile
Salientia (frogs, toads) Adult
Reptiles Juvenile
Reptiles Adult
Sauria (lizards, skinks, iguana) Juvenile
Sauria (lizards, skinks, iguana) Adult
Serpentes (snakes) Juvenile
Serpentes (snakes) Adult
Mammals Juvenile
Mammals Adult
Cricetidae (woodrats, mice, voles, lemmings, muskrats) Juvenile
Cricetidae (woodrats, mice, voles, lemmings, muskrats) Adult
Muridae (Norway rat, house mouse) Juvenile
Muridae (Norway rat, house mouse) Adult
Birds See comments

Comments on food habits: 
General: Feeds chiefly on grain and rootlets during winter. In summer, will also feed on berries, rootlets, insects, grubs, spiders and occasionally mice or small birds. Sometimes eats fish (killfish), tadpoles, crayfish, frogs, lizards, snakes, rats and mice *03,06,07*. May feed at breeding areas or fly off for miles into adjacent meadows or upland fields *03,06,07*. One study found adults feeding young mainly insects, also regurtitated food *07*.
Juvenile: Young fed regurgitated food; may also eat insects *06,07*.
Adult: See general food habits.


ENVIRONMENTAL ASSOCIATIONS

General:

  • pH below 5.5
  • pH below 7
  • pH neutral
  • pH above 7
  • pH: see comments
  • Flow: less than 50 cfs
  • Flow: see comments
  • Aquatic habitat: shallows with emergent vegetation (littoral zone)
  • Aquatic habitat zone: see comments
  • Water level: intermittently flooded
  • Water level: see comments
  • Water depth preference: < 1 ft.
  • Water depth preference: 1-5 ft.
  • Water depth preference: see comments
  • Aquatic habitats: typha-scirpus marsh
  • Aquatic habitats: freshwater marsh
  • Aquatic habitats: swamp, general
  • Aquatic habitats: see comments
  • Aquatic habitats: vegetated streambank
  • Aquatic habitats: chenier oak islands
  • Aquatic habitats: bogs
  • Aquatic habitats: prairie potholes
  • Aquatic habitats: lake weedbeds
  • Aquatic habitats: swamp
  • Aquatic habitats: see comments
  • Aquatic habitats: marsh
  • Aquatic habitats: backwaters
  • Ecotones: woodland/water
  • Ecotones: woodland/grassland
  • Ecotones: grassland/water
  • Ecotones: see comments
  • Grassland: see comments
  • Meadows: see comments
  • Old fields: see comments
  • Herbs-leguminous forbs: see comments
  • Grasses: see comments
  • Coniferous forest: see comments
  • Hardwood forest: see comments
  • Agricultural crops: see comments
  • Vegetation successional stage: pond pioneer aquatic vegetation
  • Vegetation successional stage: stable prairie/grassland
  • Vegetation successional stage: subclimax grassland
  • Vegetation successional stage: climax grassland
  • Vegetation successional stage: see comments
  • Human associations: wildlife refuges/sanctuaries
  • Human associations: see comments

Limiting:

  • pH below 5.5
  • pH: see comments

Feeding juvenile:

  • pH below 7
  • pH neutral
  • pH above 7
  • pH: see comments
  • Aquatic habitat: shallows with emergent vegetation (littoral zone)
  • Aquatic habitat zone: see comments
  • Water level: intermittently flooded
  • Water level: see comments
  • Water depth preference: < 1 ft.
  • Water depth preference: 1-5 ft.
  • Water depth preference: see comments
  • Aquatic habitats: typha-scirpus marsh
  • Aquatic habitats: freshwater marsh
  • Aquatic habitats: swamp, general
  • Aquatic habitats: see comments
  • Ecotones: woodland/water
  • Ecotones: woodland/grassland
  • Ecotones: grassland/water
  • Ecotones: see comments
  • Grassland: see comments
  • Meadows: see comments
  • Old fields: see comments
  • Agricultural crops: see comments
  • Vegetation successional stage: pond pioneer aquatic vegetation
  • Vegetation successional stage: stable prairie/grassland
  • Vegetation successional stage: subclimax grassland
  • Vegetation successional stage: climax grassland
  • Vegetation successional stage: see comments
  • Human associations: wildlife refuges/sanctuaries
  • Human associations: see comments

Feeding adult:

  • pH below 7
  • pH neutral
  • pH above 7
  • pH: see comments
  • Aquatic habitat: shallows with emergent vegetation (littoral zone)
  • Aquatic habitat zone: see comments
  • Aquatic habitats: typha-scirpus marsh
  • Aquatic habitats: freshwater marsh
  • Aquatic habitats: swamp, general
  • Aquatic habitats: see comments
  • Ecotones: woodland/water
  • Ecotones: woodland/grassland
  • Ecotones: grassland/water
  • Ecotones: see comments
  • Grassland: see comments
  • Meadows: see comments
  • Old fields: see comments
  • Agricultural crops: see comments
  • Vegetation successional stage: pond pioneer aquatic vegetation
  • Vegetation successional stage: stable prairie/grassland
  • Vegetation successional stage: subclimax grassland
  • Vegetation successional stage: climax grassland
  • Vegetation successional stage: see comments
  • Human associations: wildlife refuges/sanctuaries
  • Human associations: see comments

Resting adult:

  • Vegetation successional stage: pond pioneer aquatic vegetation
  • Vegetation successional stage: stable prairie/grassland
  • Vegetation successional stage: subclimax grassland
  • Vegetation successional stage: climax grassland
  • Vegetation successional stage: see comments
  • Human associations: wildlife refuges/sanctuaries
  • Human associations: see comments

Breeding adult:

  • pH below 7
  • pH neutral
  • pH above 7
  • Flow: less than 50 cfs
  • Flow: see comments
  • Aquatic habitat: shallows with emergent vegetation (littoral zone)
  • Aquatic habitat zone: see comments
  • Water level: intermittently flooded
  • Water level: see comments
  • Water depth preference: < 1 ft.
  • Water depth preference: 1-5 ft.
  • Water depth preference: see comments
  • Aquatic habitats: typha-scirpus marsh
  • Aquatic habitats: freshwater marsh
  • Aquatic habitats: swamp, general
  • Aquatic habitats: see comments
  • Aquatic habitats: vegetated streambank
  • Aquatic habitats: chenier oak islands
  • Aquatic habitats: bogs
  • Aquatic habitats: prairie potholes
  • Aquatic habitats: lake weedbeds
  • Aquatic habitats: swamp
  • Aquatic habitats: see comments
  • Aquatic habitats: marsh
  • Aquatic habitats: backwaters
  • Ecotones: woodland/water
  • Ecotones: grassland/water
  • Ecotones: see comments
  • Herbs-leguminous forbs: see comments
  • Grasses: see comments
  • Coniferous forest: see comments
  • Hardwood forest: see comments
  • Vegetation successional stage: pond pioneer aquatic vegetation
  • Vegetation successional stage: stable prairie/grassland
  • Vegetation successional stage: see comments
  • Human associations: wildlife refuges/sanctuaries
  • Human associations: see comments

Comments on environmental associations:
General: Spp. is generally found in open grasslands, marshes, swampy edges of lakes, ponds, river banks *02,06,07*. Needs an open area marsh with dense vegetation (esp. prairie ponds) for nesting; some habitats recorded as spruce-cedar swamps, leather-leaf-labrador tea bogs and leather-leaf-sphagum bogs. In MI studies, predominant vegetation consisted of sedges, tules and cattails mixed with aspen and willow trees. Other plants in various areas recorded were grasses, phragmites, rushes (bulrush). Tree spp. recorded were alder, spruce, tamarack, white and red pine, jack-pine, poplar, oaks, elms and dogwoods. The latter 3 are often mixed with poison sumac, elderberry, rosebushes and button-bushes. Another study found ash, maple, some basswood, yellow birch, and shrubs assoc. with them *07*. Water depth around nest usu. 2 ft. Or more deep and nest is 6-8 in. above water. Crane seems to prefer nest surrounded by water. In one study, when surrounding area dried up, adults moved nest *06,07*. In so. MI, smallest breeding area was 60 acres *26*. pH of water in MI study was 6.7-7.6 *26*. In another study where pH was 4.5 to 5 birds were more scarce *07*.
Feeding juvenile: See feeding adult and species environ. assoc.
Resting juvenile: No comments.
Feeding adult: Feeds around nest or in upland areas such as agricultural fields, meadows, marshes, etc. *03,06,07*.
Resting adult: No comments.
Breeding adult: See species environ. assoc. and limiting factors.


LIFE HISTORY

Origin: Native

Physical description: 34-48 in. long; wingspread 6-7 ft. Long-legged, long-necked, sexes outwardly alike but male is larger. Adults all-gray with bald red skin on forehead. Eyes yellow. Immatures have head brown-feathered without red skin patch. Legs, bill and feet blackish. Six races recognized *03*. Detailed description of subspp. given in Walkinshaw *07*.

Reproduction: Br. season: majority of mo nests built in Apr *26*. Egg dates in MI (lower peninsula), IA, IN, were May 3, May 15, May 5 *07*. Incubation 28 to 36 days. Second egg usually laid 2 days after first. Both parents incubate *03,07*. Usu. 2, sometimes one and rarely 3 eggs laid *03,06,07*. Egg shape varies from ovate to elongate ovate. Shell is smooth, with little or no gloss; are generally a few pimples on it and is sometimes finely pitted *06*. Egg is olive, spoted with lavender, browns *03*. In one study, eggs averaged 96.2 by 61 mm. Eggs showing 4 extremes measured 109.5 by 60.5, 98.2 by 66.3 and 84 by 55 mm *06*. Other egg sites and size of young at hatching given by Walkinshaw *07,26*. Br. behavior: groups of 6 or 8 arrive at dancing ground in spring. Birds perform dance year round, but mainly when breeding. Usu. start by throwing object in air. Raise heads high and walk around slowly. Hop high in air, raise wings and part with dropping. Male, female cross and recross each other's paths. Dance for an hour or so. Will croak when dancing *06,07*. Further description of courtship given by walkinshaw, bent *06,07*. May pair for life *07*. Does not breed until at least 2 years of age *07*.

Development of young: Young are precocious *06,07,26*. Eggs pipped about 24 hrs. before hatching *07*. Can usu. stand within 24 hrs. Parents usu. bring young out of nest after one day to feed *26*. Young eat insects, regurgitated food from parents *06,07*. One young usu. older by one day and seems to be more aggressive. Parent usu. separate 2 nestlings for a while *26*. At 2 months, young begin to fly, are airborn 2-3 weeks following *03,06,07*. Will remain with parents throughout winter. Parents drive young away in following br. season *03*.

Behavior: Are strongly territorial and return to nest each year *07*. Are gregarious except during breeding season (non-breeding birds remain gregarious) *07*. Fly with neck outstretched, feet trailing behind. Have been timed at 25-35 mph *07*. Migrants in IL seen mid-March to early May, then early Oct. to early Nov. Most migrate northwest/southeast across northern part of state, probably moving to and from Jasper Pulaski Preserve in IN *01*.

Foraging strategy/sites: May feed around nesting habitat or in upland areas of agricultural fields, open grasslands, marshes, swampy edges of lakes and ponds, river banks *06,07*. Begin feeding in early morning. May fly for miles to feeding area *06,07,26*. Are omnivorous, eating mainly grain and tubers in winter, plant seeds, berries, insects and small animals in summer *07*. See also food habits. Will break down large pieces of food by piercing or throwing it on ground with bill *07*. Nest/den site: needs an open area marsh with dense vegetation (priaire ponds). Water surrounding nest usu. 2 ft. or more deep. Bird seems to prefer nest surrounded by water. In some studies, adults moved nest when surrounding area dired up *06*. Nest usu. Built with most readily available materials, although type built may vary with range *07*. Some nest materials listed include dead reeds, rushes, weeds, etc. Nest is built up 6-8 in. above water and may be 4-5 ft. Across *03,06*. See also environ. assoc. for nesting habitat details.

Limiting factors: Adults will readily desert nest if disturbed by man *26*. Racoons are serious egg predators. Other enemies include crows, ravens, jaegers, hawks, eagles, owls, coyotes, foxes, wolves *06,07*. Adults seldom bothered becaue of size; also colors blend in with nesting area, making bird difficult to see *06,07*. Animal, plant = diseases and parasites: bacterial: cholera *08,24,25*; erysipelas *09*; salmonella *10*; viral: hemorrhagic eneteritis *11*; newcastle *12*; herpesvirus *13,14,15*; protozoan: coccidia *16,17*; helminths: nematodes *18*; trematodes *18*; ectoparasites *21*; mites *20*; capture myopathy *22*. General ref. for diseases and parasites, see *23*.

Population parameters: Lifespan 12-15 years. In zoos, lived up to 24 yrs. *03,06,07*. In MI studies, of 107 nests, 79 (73.8%) young hatched, 77 (71.9%) Fledged. Of 201 eggs laid, 137 (68.1%) Hatched, 127 (63.2%) left nest. In 96 nests, 78 (81.2%) young hatched, 77 (80.2%) fledged, 180 eggs laid, 134 (74.4%) hatched, 127 (70.55%) left nest *26*.

 


MANAGEMENT PRACTICES

Beneficial:

  • Maintaining undisturbed/undeveloped areas
  • Maintaining natural ecological succession
  • Maintaining natural areas and nature preserves
  • Maintaining unique or special habitat features (wetlands, snags, caves, cliffs, talises, etc.
  • Preserving endangered species habitat
  • Preserving sensitive species habitat
  • Performing special survey prior to prescription
  • Performing field survey prior to prescription
  • Controlling land use and human activities
  • Seasonal restriction of human use of habitats
  • Controlling pollution
  • Practices other than those included on the ifwis list (see comments)
  • Developing/maintaining suitable ph
  • Controlling sedimentation
  • Controlling pollution in aquatic habitats
  • Controlling water levels
  • Controlling water use e.g. irrigation, livestock
  • Creating/maintaining supplemental water sources
  • Developing/maintaining lakes and ponds
  • Developing/maintaining wetlands
  • Creating/maintaining wetlands from non-wetlands
  • Maintaining bogs
  • Protecting existing wetlands
  • Aquatic habitat management practices other than those included in ifwis lists (see comments)
  • Developing/maintaining riparian habitat
  • No-till farming
  • Retaining crop residue (over winter)
  • Limiting access of livestock to banks and water
  • Reducing evaporation from around seeds and plants
  • Developing/maintaining native vegetation
  • Develop/maintain prairie
  • Providing seasonal supplemental feeding
  • Developing/maintaining water holes, ponds, potholes, etc.
  • Restricting human disturbance during migration, breeding, and nesting
  • Fencing nesting cover to prevent grazing by livestock
  • Maintaining undisturbed resting areas for migrating birds

Adverse:

  • Channelization
  • Providing public access (develop roads, trails, parking areas or provide legal access)
  • Controlling aquatic plants
  • Draining ponds/lakes
  • Drawdown of ponds/lakes
  • Draining wetlands
  • Removing bank vegetation
  • Applying pesticide on agricultural land
  • Applying herbicide
  • Applying insecticide
  • Drainage improvement
  • Irrigation
  • Strip mining
  • Applying pesticides
  • Applying herbicides
  • Applying insecticides
  • Mowing
  • Forest protection- disposal of debris
  • Forest protection- pest control
  • Application of pesticides
  • Application of insecticides

Comments on management practices:
Is considered a game spp. and is hunted in some areas, but not IL. *04*. Management practices are generally well documented. Spp. mainly needs preservation from hunting *27*. Cranes can adjust and breed in captivity if provided with proper facilities, diet, care, etc. *27*. Subspp. of MS. Sandhill crane is managed and protected at MS sandhill crane refuge. Thousands of nestiodes subspp. (seen in IL) migrate through Jasper Pulaski Nature Preserve in Winamac, Indiana *00*.

 


REFERENCES

0. SHERMAN, R.A. 1986. ILL. NAT. HIST. SURV., 607 E. PEABODY DR., CHAMPAIGN, IL. 61820. (217)333-6846.

1. BOHLEN, H. 1978. AN ANNOTATED CHECK-LIST OF THE BIRDS OF ILLINOIS. ILLINOIS STATE MUS. POP. SCI. SER., VOL. IX. 156 P.

2. AMERICAN ORNHITOLOGISTS' UNION. 1984. CHECK-LIST OF NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS. 6TH EDITION. ALLEN PRESS, INC. LAWRENCE KS. 877 P.

3. TERRES, J. 1980. AUDUBON SOCIETY: ENCYCLOPEDIA OR NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS. ALFRED KNOPF, NEW YORK. 1109 P.

4. ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION. 1980. CONSERVATION LAWS. CH. 61. WILDLIFE. ART. II. PAR. 2.2. REPRINTED FROM ILLINOIS REVISED STATUTES, 1979. WEST PUBL. CO., ST. PAUL, MN. 123 PP.

5. U.S. FISH WILDLIFE SERVICE. 1983. CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS. TITLE 50. WILDLIFE AND FISHERIES. CHAPTER 1. PP. 11-18. 50 CFR 10.13. LIST OF MIGRATORY BIRDS. SPECIAL PUBL. FEDERAL REGISTER. GENERAL SERVICES ADMIN. OCTOBER 1.

6. BENT, A.C. 1926A. LIFE HISTORIES OF NORTH AMERICAN MARSH BIRDS. U.S. NATL. MUS. BULL. NO. 135. WASHINGTON, D.C.

7. WALKINSHAW, L.H. 1949A. THE SANDHILL CRANES. BLOOMFIELD HILLS, MICH. CRANBROOK INST. SCI.

8. ROSEN, M.N. 1972. THE 1970-1971 AVIAN CHOLERA EPORNITIC'S IMPACT ON CERTAIN SPECIES. J. WILDL. DIS. 8:75-78.

9. SHUMAN, R.D. 1971. ERYSIPELOTHRIX. PAGES 141-145 INFECTIOUS AND PARASITIC DISEASES OF WILD BIRDS. DAVIS, J.W., R.C. ANDERSON, L. KARSTAD, AND D.O. TRAINER, EDS. THE IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY, AMES, IOWA.

10. WINDINGSTAD, R.M., D.O. TRAINER, AND R. DUNCAN. 1977. SALMONELLA ENTERTITIS AND ARIZONA HINSHAWII ISOLATED FROM WILD SANDHILL CRANES. AVIAN DIS. 21:204-207.

11. DOMERMUTH, C.H., D.J. FORRESTER, D.O. TRAINER, AND W.J. BIGLER. 1977. SEROLOGIC EXAMINATION OF WILD BIRDS FOR HEMORRHAGIC ENTERITIS OF TURKEY AND MARBLE SPLEEN DISEASE OF PHEASANTS. J. WILDL. DIS. 13: 405-408.

12. VICKERS, M.L., AND R.P. HANSON. 1979. EXPERIMENTAL NEWCASTLE DISEASE IN THREE SPECIES OF WILD BIRDS. AVIAN DIS. 23(1):70-79.

13. DOCHERTY, D.E., AND D.J. HENNING. 1980. THE ISOLATION OF A HERPESVIRUS FROM CAPTIVE CRANES WITH AN INCLUSION BODY DISEASE. AVIAN DIS. 24(1):278-283.

14. BAECHLER, B. 1982. HERPESVIRUS IN CRANES: A NEW DISEASE. PAGES 244- 249 PROC. 1981 CRANE WORKSHOP. SOURCE FORM: PAPER.

15. DOCHERTY, D.E., AND R.I. ROMAINE. 1983. INCLUSION BODY DISEASE OF CRANES: A SEROLOGICAL FOLLOW-UP TO THE 1978 DIE-OFF. AVIAN DIS. 27(3):830-835.

16. CARPENTER, J.W., AND M.N. NOVILLA. 1980. THE OCCURRENCE AND CONTROL OF DISSEMINATED VISCERAL COCCIDIOSIS IN CAPTIVE CRANES. ANNU. PROC. AM. ASSOC. ZOO VET.:99-101.

17. NOVILLA, M.N., J.W. CARPENTER, T.R. SPRAKER, AND T.K. JEFFERS. 1981. PARENTAL DEVELOPMENT OF EIMERIAN COCCIDIA IN SANDHILL AND WHOOPING CRANES. J. PROTOZOOL. 28(2):248-255.

18. IVERSON, G.C., P.A. VOHS, A.A. KOCAN, AND K.A. WALDRUP. 1983. SOME HELMINTH PARASITES OF SANDHILL CRANES FROM MID-CONTINENTAL NORTH AMERICA. J. WILDL. DIS. 19(1):56-59.

19. KOCAN, A.A., K.A. WALDRUP, J.M. RAMAKKA, AND G.C. IVERSON. 1982. PROHYPTIASMUS GRUSI SP. N. (TREMATODA: CYCLOCOELIDAE) FROM SANDHILL CRANES (GRUS CANADENSIS). PROC. HELMINTHOL. SOC. WASH. 49(1):28-30.

20. ATYEO, W.T., AND R.M. WINDINGSTAD. 1979. FEATHER MITES OF THE GREATER SANDHILL CRANES. J. PARASITOL. 65(4):650-658.

21. CARPENTER, J.W. 1979. AN OUTLINE OF THE TREATMENT AND CONTROL OF CRANE PARASITES. PAGES 101-108 PROC. 1978 CRANE WORKSHOP. SOURCE FORM: PAPER.

22. WINDINGSTAD, R.M., S.S. HURLEY, AND L. SILEO. 1983. CAPTURE MYOPATHY IN A FREE-FLYING GREATER SANDHILL CRANE (GRUS CANADENSIS TABIDA). J. WILDL. DIS. 19(3):289-290.

23. FOWLER, M.E. 1978. PENGUINS, CRANES, STORKS, AND FLAMINGOS (SPHENISCIFORMES, GRUIFORMES, CICONIIFORMES, AND PHOENICOPTERIFORMES). PAGES 155-163 ZOO AND WILD ANIMAL MEDICINE. FOWLER, M.E., ED. W.B. SAUNDERS CO., PHILADELPHIA.

24. KRAPU, G.L., AND G.L. PEARSON. 1982. SUSCEPTIBILITY OF THE MIDCONTINENT POPULATION OF SANDHILL CRANES TO AVIAN CHOLERA IN NEBRASKA-- A PRELIMINARY REPORT. PAGES 7-12 PROC. 1981 CRANE WORKSHOP. SOURCE FORM: PAPER.

25. ROSEN, M.N. 1971. AVIAN CHOLERA. PAGES 59-74 INFECTIOUS AND PARASITIC DISEASES OF WILD BIRDS. DAVIS, J.W., R.C. ANDERSON, L. KARSTAD, AND D.O. TRAINER, EDS. THE IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY, AMES, IOWA.

26. WALKINSHAW, L.H. 1965B. ONE HUNDRED THIRTY THREE MICHIGAN SANDHILL CRANE NESTS. JACK-PINE WARBLER 43(3):136-43.

27. ARCHIBALD, G. AND C.M. MIRANDE, 1985. POPULATION STATUS AND MANAGEMENT EFFORTS FOR ENDANGERED CRANES. TRANS. N. AMER. WILDL. AND NATUR. RESOUR. CONF. 50:586-602.

 


 

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