This adult Sandhill Crane was seen recently near Bozeman, sitting on its nest. Sandhill Cranes usually lay 2 variably colored, subelliptical eggs. Both parents will incubate the eggs during the day, with the female only at night. Hatching takes place after 28-36 days. The chicks are precocial, mobile, and covered with down at hatching. They leave the nest within hours of hatching and follow their parents on foot. Both the male and female feed their young, which fledge at around 50 days to 18 weeks. The young cranes will stay with their parents in a family group until the end of their first spring, and rely on them to teach them the route to their wintering grounds.
Sandhills are monogamous and pairs mate for life. During courtship, they perform "dancing" displays.