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To determine how the behavior of greater sandhill cranes (Grus canadensis tabida) changes according to time of year, time of day, and number of days after release, we observed the activities of 2 groups of captive-reared greater sandhill cranes at Mormon Lake, northern Arizona. The behaviors we compared were alert, loafing, sleeping, foraging, preening, locomotion, and other. We found costume-reared subadult greater sandhill cranes that were established at the study site for a year spent more time foraging and being alert towards predators than parent-reared juvenile greater sandhill cranes that were recently released from captivity. We also found that with time juvenile sandhill cranes were increasingly alert and spent less time loafing. It appeared that captive-reared juvenile sandhill cranes learn behavior important for survival from previously released captive-reared cranes.
Additional Publication Details
A comparison of behavior for two cohorts of captive-reared greater sandhill cranes released in northern Arizona