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Marshbirds and Shorebirds of North Dakota

Cranes


Family Gruidae

Cranes are large, long-necked, long-legged birds that resemble herons but are classified separately due to different anatomical features. Two species of cranes are native to North America--the endangered whooping crane and the sandhill crane. The sandhill crane is a game species in North Dakota. Cranes fly with their necks and legs fully extended, unlike herons which fly with their necks in an S-shape. Cranes are believed to mate for life and their courtship rituals are both dramatic and graceful.


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