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Crane species (Grus canadensis family Gruidae), 35–43 in. (90–110 cm) long, with a red crown, a bluish or brownish gray body tinged with sandy yellow, and a long, harsh, penetrating call. It is one of the oldest of all existing bird species. It breeds from Alaska to Hudson Bay; it formerly bred in south-central Canada and the Great Lakes region of the U.S. but is now uncommon in those regions. A smaller, nonmigratory subspecies breeds in Florida and southern Georgia. Sandhill cranes have been used as surrogate parents in efforts to save the whooping crane from extinction.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on sandhill crane, visit Britannica.com.