Other Birds

Flying Sand hill cranes header

The refuge is at the convergence of the Pacific and Central Flyways for migrating birds. The refuge has a variety of habitats for many different types of birds, from dense forest, to forest edge, to conifers, aspens, and willows. There are sagebrush, tall reeds, meadows, marshes, and sand dunes. Each bird has a different niche that allows them to prosper in the refuge ecology. This section explores other birds that don't fit so neatly into the categories above but are equally as interesting and valuable to the diverse environment here. For a complete list of the birds found on our refuge, download a PDF file here.

  • Cranes

    Sand Hill Crane Thumb

    The sandhill crane is one of the refuge's noisier birds. This crane frequently gives a loud trumpeting call that suggests a French-style "r" rolled in the throat, and they can be heard from a very long distance. Mated pairs of cranes engage in "unison calling." The cranes stand close together, calling in a synchronized and complex duet. They are very large with a wingspan of almost 7 feet. They often feed with their bills down to the ground as they root around for seeds and other foods in shallow wetlands with vegetation or various upland habitats.

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