North American Crane Working Group


Date of this Version


Document Type



Bennett, L.A., and A.J. Bennett. Territorial behavior of Florida sandhill cranes in the Okefenokee Swamp. In: Wood D. A., ed. 1992. Proceedings 1988 North American Crane Workshop, Feb. 22–24, 1988. Lake Wales, Florida (Tallahassee, FL: State of Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission Nongame Wildlife Program Technical Report #12, 1992), pp. 177-184.


Used by permission of the North American Crane Working Group.


Intraspecific and territorial interactions of adult Florida sandhill cranes (Grus canadensis pratensis) were studied in the Okefenokee Swamp, Georgia 1985-87. Adult pairs occupied exclusive and defended territories year round. We did not observe social behavior or flocking by adult cranes. Reproductive success did not influence the fidelity of pairs to their territories or aggressiveness toward other cranes. Females that lost mates retained their territories and eventually re-paired. Territorality was most intense during fall and winter and may have been necessary to maintain feeding areas. Habitat conditions in the Okefenokee Swamp may dictate territorality, not sociality, as a strategy for survival.