Zoo Animals

Sandhill crane

Sandhill crane

Grus canadensis

At the Detroit Zoo

Two male sandhill cranes found sanctuary at the Detroit Zoo after being rescued and rehabilitated. One of the cranes was found as a chick in 2002 with a wing problem. Rescuers determined he would not survive in the wild. The second crane was rescued in 2015 with a badly injured wing. His injuries required amputation of the wing tip, leaving him unable to fly. The sandhill cranes can be found in a grassy habitat with a pond just west of the guanacos.


The sandhill crane is a large-bodied bird with an impressive wingspan, long black legs, a long neck and a short bill. It has grey plumage on the body, becoming white or paler grey on the face, chin and upper throat, and a patch of bald red skin on the top of its head.

Fun Facts

  • The sandhill crane is the most abundant crane species on Earth, renowned for its spectacular mass migrations.

  • Even though sandhill crane chicks fledge at around 67 to 75 days, they do not become independent of the parents until they are 9 to 10 months old.