Nebraska Academy of Sciences


Date of this Version



Published in Transactions of the Nebraska Academy of Science, Volume 4 (1977).


Copyright 1977 by the Authors; used by permission of the NAS


The role, intensity, and frequency of Lesser Sandhill Crane (Grus canadensis) dances were interpreted from observations of 1,167 dance sequences from March 6, 1975, to April 15,1975. The observations were from 27 sites in Kearney and Hall Counties, Nebraska.

Nineteen variables, selected as possible determinants of dance frequency (dances/minute), were recorded on field observation forms along with a description of each dance and the approximate duration.

The 19 variables were regressed against the dance frequency of the total dances as well as 6 subgroups-courtship display, emotion or tension-release, aggression-related activity, pre-flight and pre-walk communication, and response to possible danger. Primary factors selected as influencing the dance frequencies of all the dances collectively included: relative density, distance to the nearest road, date, time, flock size, circular flock shape, and grazing in corn stubble. Primary predictors were also selected for each of the 6 dance types.