[TN-Bird] Greater Sandhill Crane life-history

  • From: Melinda Welton <weltonmj@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: tnbird <tn-bird@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 01 Dec 2010 17:08:13 -0600

Dear all
Anne Paine of the Tennessean is writing another story on Sandhill Cranes.
I told her how surprised many hunters were when I told them about the
life-history of Sandhills. She asked me for that information and this is
what I sent her - I thought some of you might be interested.

Most of this information is in the Management Plan for the Eastern
Population of Sandhill Cranes posted on the TOS website:
www.tnbirds.org/ConsPolCom/Proposed Crane Hunt.html

The life-history of the Sandhill Crane is different from any other game
species in Tennessee. They are very long-lived, do not reproduce until they
are 5 to 7 years old, and produce an average of less than one young per

Sandhill Cranes will breed at 2 to 7 years of age, however the average age
of first successful breeding is 5 years for females, and 7 years for males.
They continue to breed for 15 to 20 years.

The number of chicks produced per pair (in a population of Gr. Sandhill
Cranes studied by the International Crane Foundation in Wisconsin) has
ranged from 0.7 to 0.23 chicks/nest between 1993 and 2006. The trend has
been declining over this period of time.

The young remain with their parents (usually within a few meters) until they
reach independence at 9 to 10 months.

Sandhill Cranes "mate for life," meaning that pairs remain together as long
as both are alive. They will find another mate if one bird dies.

The oldest known Sandhill Crane in the wild was 36 years 7 months old.

Melinda Welton
TOS Conservation Policy Committee
Franklin, TN

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  • » [TN-Bird] Greater Sandhill Crane life-history - Melinda Welton