Great Plains Natural Science Society


Date of this Version


Document Type



The Prairie Naturalist 43(3/4): 131-132. December 2011


Published by the Great Plains Natural Science Society, 2011. Used by permission.


Paul Johnsgard has long been captivated by wild cranes and their unique vocalizations, courtship dances, and wide-ranging migrations. As a scientist and an admirer, Johnsgard has watched their migrations and behaviors for decades as hundreds of thousands of cranes staged each spring by the central Platte River, not far from his home in Lincoln, Nebraska. As an artist, he has skillfully captured their courtship dances and other behaviors in his exceptional line drawings. And, as an author, he has written extensively on their ecology in three earlier books: Cranes of the World (1983), Those of the Gray Wind: The Sandhill Crane (1986), and Crane Music: A Natural History of Cranes (1991). Much has happened relative to North American cranes in the 20 years since Johnsgard published Crane Music, including increased crane abundance in many areas and the completion of multiple studies on crane ecology and conservation. This new crane book serves as an update to Crane Music and provides the reader with many useful resources for observing and learning about cranes.