North American Crane Working Group


Date of this Version


Document Type



Nesbitt, S.A. Age, sex and aggression in Florida sandhill cranes. In Chavez-Ramirez, F, ed. 2005. Proceedings of the Ninth North American Crane Workshop, Jan 17-20, 2003. Sacramento, California: North American Crane Working Group. Pp. 237-240.


Reproduced by permission of the NACWG.


Individually directed aggressive interactions were recorded for sandhill cranes in Florida over a 9-year period. Charges and stabs were the most frequently observed aggressive behaviors. Paired adults initiated most of the encounters. Males directed 67% of aggressive interactions toward other males and 84% of female aggressive interactions were directed toward other females. The sex of initiator was significantly correlated with the sex of the receiver (P = 0.001). Paired adults directed most aggression (64.7%) toward other paired adults. Aggression initiated by subadult cranes was directed toward adults and subadults with equal frequency. The aggressiveness in males as an indicator of territoriality may be a means that females may use to assess suitability of potential mates.