North American Crane Working Group


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Nesbitt, Stephen A., and Richard A. Bradley. Vocalizations of sandhill cranes. In: Urbanek RP, Stahlecker DW, eds. 1997. Proceedings of the Seventh North American Crane Workshop, 1996 Jan 10-13, Biloxi, Mississippi. Grand Island, NE: North American Crane Working Group. pp. 29-35.


Used by permission of the North American Crane Working Group.


The structure and context of 20 vocalizations given by adult or juvenile sandhill cranes (Grus canadensis) are described. Purr calls were given under various circumstances (e.g., pre-flight, feeding, aggression) and communicated information over a short distance. Flight calls, guard calls, and urtison calls were full-voiced calls that carried information over greater distances. Calls given in flight were distinguishable from other calls. Guard calls were given in several different circumstances and served multiple functions; other calls were given in very specific contexts. Beyond the basic communication of information to other cranes, vocalizations may function in mate selection and in synchronizing physiological condition of pair members.