Sandhill Crane - Earl Harrison

This article is reprinted by the kind permission of the Delaware County Bird Club. Information supplied by the Ohio Division of Wildlife. Article by Stefanie Hauck and Christina Voise.

Sandhill Crane numbers have been increasing in Ohio in recent years. In response, the Ohio Division of Wildlife (ODW) has started to conduct an annual “Crane Count”.

In October, 2022, the Division reported the results of the most recent count. Final results indicate over 300 Sandhill Cranes were counted on Saturday April 9, 2022. The count was coordinated by the ODW, the International Crane Foundation, and the Ohio Bird Conservation Initiative. Cranes were detected and counted by volunteers in 26 counties throughout the state. Data were collected primarily in eBird and individual data points were evaluated for overlap.

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The top five counties with Sandhill Cranes were Wayne (83), Lucas (47), Geauga (45), Trumbull (22), and Ottawa/Wyandot (17 each). See the table below for a complete list of counties, cranes, and the number of participating volunteers, and the map for the distribution of cranes by county.

After being extirpated from Ohio for over 50 years, Sandhill Cranes began breeding again in 1987 in Wayne County. Their numbers have continued to increase but they are still listed as state threatened in Ohio.

The next Crane Count will be held on Saturday, April 15, 2023. For more information see the OBCI Crane Count web page and and the Crane Foundation count page.

County # of Sites# of Cranes# of Counters
Ashland572
Columbiana1112 
Delaware2519 
Erie113
Franklin2230
Geauga144531
Hardin344
Holmes11158
Knox1211
Lake121
Licking121
Logan493
Lorain111
Lucas64716
Mahoning116 
Marion41111
Ottawa51711
Pickaway1114 
Portage1310
Richland242 
Summit1228
Trumbull7225 
Tuscarawas121 
Wayne158315
Williams352 
Wyandot61711 
TOTAL100311251
Results from Sandhill Crane Count, October 2022