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Guided tours offered daily!

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Our Mission: Saving Wildlife

Sandhill Crane

031504 Sand Hill Crane 28_1

Grus canadensis

  • Classification: Bird
  • Lifespan in Captivity: under 30yrs
  • Lifespan in the Wild: up to 20yrs
  • Wingspan: 3ft
  • Weight: 7.5-11lbs
  • Range: North America, Eastern Siberia
  • Habitat: freshwater marshes and mudflats
    • Diet in the Wild: small mammals, vegetation, insects, worms, fish, frogs
    • Diet at Wildlife Images: moistened dog kibble, fish, mealworms

Sandhill Cranes are the world’s most common crane and one of the few not currently endangered. They live mostly in the far north (Canada and Alaska) during the summer, but can be seen throughout most of the western United States during migration season, when they gather in flocks of up to 10,000 individuals. Found in freshwater wetlands, Sandhill cranes are opportunistic eaters that enjoy plants, grains, mice, snakes, insects, or worms. Sandhill cranes have an interesting, distinctive call. The make a rattling “karrrr- oooooo-oooo” sound that varies in length, loudness, and strength depending on what they are communicating. During mating season, they call in unison, singing and calling loudly to each other to create a bond. They will also do a mating dance which is an incredible sight to see. Wing flapping, jumping, tossing about, and even throwing sticks and vegetation into the air creates quite a display during mating season and sometimes just year-round for fun.

Description: Slate gray; often with a rusty wash on upperparts; pale cheeks; red skin on crown; legs are black.


  • On wintering grounds and during migration, flocks can number in the tens of thousands
  • Make a loud, rolling trumpet
  • Courting cranes do a dance wherein they stretch their wings, pump their heads, bow, and leap
  • Mate for life, and stay with mate year-round
  • Use kicking as a defense mechanism, in addition to spreading their wings and hissing
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11845 Lower River Rd., Grants Pass, OR 97526
P.O. Box 36, Merlin OR 97532

Please make a reservation for your tour as you must be accompanied by a tour guide to visit!

  • Hours: 9AM - 5PM
  • Guided Tours: Every hour on the hour
  • Adults $14 | Seniors $12
  • Children (ages 4-13) $7
  • Children ages 3 and under by donation

Our Mission: Saving Wildlife

In this pursuit we aim to:

  • Involve people to share in our mission.
  • Educate people about the personal benefits of taking care of wildlife and the environment entrusted to our care.
  • Inspire people to make positive changes improving the world for wildlife.

We Need Your Help

With over 80 animal ambassadors, and over 1,000 sick injured and orphaned animals brought to our center each year - every dollar counts. We rely solely on people like yourself to support the work we do.

We receive no State or Federal funding and depend entirely on private funds to carry out our Mission.