Sandhill Cranes in Pennsylvania


Now that you know how to recognize cranes (see the crane quiz), here’s a Game Commission video about the sandhill crane population in Pennsylvania with some really cute footage of a baby crane being banded.

(video from the Pennsylvania Game Commission)

17 thoughts on “Sandhill Cranes in Pennsylvania

  1. I think my cute-o-meter just had a meltdown …….. BLAAAUUUGGHH!!! (passes out from cuteness) 🙂

    I also wonder how long before we see them in SW Pa … the Blue Herons have moved back in … I guess it’s just a matter of time

    1. I just spotted 2 sandhill cranes I live in corry pa!! I have pics just email me it’s a pair I’ve never in 40 years seen them here or anywhere around here at all

  2. I just recently found out through an acquaintance that Sandhills have been nesting near Dushore, PA. I’ve seen them out West, but had no idea they could be found in the East. A new horizon, just like the Bald Eagles in the Susquehanna River area that can be viewed fishing and raising their young.
    When do the Sandhill cranes usually arrive in PA?

    1. I’m not sure about the sandhills’ return date because a few are seen in northwestern PA throughout the winter. 23 were in Crawford County in late December. Another was seen near Linesville on Feb 9. Use the search box on this website to find species in PA.

    1. Brian, in Pennsylvania, sandhill cranes are mostly reported in the western part of the state though in small numbers. One crane has been a winter regular at Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area (Lebanon/Lancaster Counties), a few stop by Wyoming County in March and one was seen recently at Green Pond in Northampton County. They are very rare in eastern PA though during migration (late March, early April) a few may be found almost anywhere in their preferred habitat.

      Check for sightings. Click on Explore Data > Range and Point Maps > enter “Sandhill Crane” for the species and zoom in.

  3. Sandhill crane Honey Brook, PA 9:00 AM. Circled Brandywine preserve (West branch, Brandywine Creek) about 100 feet above the ground.

    Flew NNE towards Struble Lake.

  4. I believe that we saw a pair of sandhill cranes today in Slippery Rock Township, Lawrence County, PA. They were a pair and were in a popular spring nesting place for Canadian geese and some wild ducks. Their plumage blended in perfectly with the cattails and dry grasses.

  5. We have had a sandhill crane living in our neighborhood for years! At least 5 years. It is massive and always startles us. We live just north of pittsburgh in cranberry township. Neat to know they are around!

  6. Large flock (20-30)of Sandhill Cranes in fields located Plainview, Lawrence County, along Plainview Rd/Golf Course Rd.

  7. I think I saw one adult this morning in the very shallow tiny creek behind my home in down town Slippery Rock (Butler County) on March 31 2015. It did not look like an egret but it did appear to be all a dove gray color with a black mark near the eye. When it flew into a tree in the woods near by the wing feathers looked almost black. The day is really dark and overcast so coloring may look different to me because of the overcast lighting I suppose. Does my description sound possible for this bird? I have lived in this area all my life and never seen one before.

    1. Kristine, I think the bird you saw was a great blue heron. They perch in trees, sandhill cranes don’t. (Amazing, isn’t it?) The great blue heron easily looks gray in poor light and he has a black stripe near his eye. Here are pictures of both: The great blue is #1, the sandhill is #3
      And here’s a picture of a gray-looking great blue heron:
      I hope this helps.

  8. We saw four sandhill cranes today in the Grasslands off US Route 19 near Leesburg PA. Have never seen them in this area, is today’s sighting unusual?
    Jan W

    1. Janice, a flock of sandhill cranes lives near there. I sometimes see them flying near Old Ash Rd.

  9. My daughter and I saw two adult and one juvenile sandhill cranes in a field on November 22 just before dark in Nicholson PA, Wyoming county. We got pictures and the sounds they make!

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