Sandhill Crane

Grus canadensis

Visiting birders are usually surprised to encounter this annual species while on the Pribilofs. Sandhill Cranes breed across the northeast coast of Russia, and winter solely in the new world. Thus flocks regularly cross the Bering Sea. Small groups of Sandhills sometimes make landfall on Saint Paul in spring, especially during strong north or northwest winds. These birds may linger for a week or more, generally around Northeast Point or the road to Marunich, before setting off for the Russian coast. Very rarely groups of Cranes may spend the entire summer on the island. A few individuals are also spotted in fall, mainly in September or October. Although exceedingly unlikely crane flocks should be checked over, especially in fall, for vagrant Asian species such as Common or Demoiselle Cranes.