Sandhill Cranes by KenG ()
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Here's the updated version of my Sandhill Cranes from Shorebirds v1. I redid numerous parts of the model (mostly transparency layering) and added more morphs as well as a standalone DS version. I think it's a significant improvement from the 2010 version. Free updates will appear probably in March.
Sandhill Cranes are distributed throughout North America, extending into Cuba and far northeastern Siberia. The three migratory subspecies (Lesser, Greater and Canadian) are distributed across a broad breeding range in the northern U.S. and Canada as well as eastern Siberia, with wintering grounds in the southern United States and northern Mexico. The three non-migratory subspecies (Mississippi, Cuban, and Florida) have restricted ranges in the southern United States and Cuba. Found in open fresh water wetlands, but the different subspecies utilize habitats that range from bogs, sedge meadows, and fens to open grasslands, pine savannas, and cultivated lands. Sandhill Cranes occur at their highest breeding density in habitats that contain open sedge meadows in wetlands that are adjacent to short vegetation in uplands.
Some Sandhill Crane subspecies are endangered. Loss and degradation of riverine and wetland ecosystems are the most important threats to populations. For the migratory populations, this is of greatest concern in staging and wintering areas. Spring staging areas along the Platte River in Nebraska are of special concern because of their importance to the migratory subspecies and the development pressures facing this region. Approximately 80% of all Sandhill Cranes utilize a 75-mile stretch of the Platte River in spring migration. Elsewhere, small breeding populations can face disproportionate mortality on fall staging areas due to over-hunting. Residential and commercial development pressures facing lands occupied by birds belonging to non-migratory subspecies in Mississippi, Florida, and Cuba also pose significant threats.
The Sandhill Crane has one of the longest fossil histories of any extant bird. While a 10-million-year-old crane fossil from Nebraska is often cited as being of this species, it this is more likely from a prehistoric relative or the direct ancestor. The oldest unequivocal Sandhill Crane fossil is "just" 2.5 million years old which is more than 1 ½ times older than the earliest remains of any other living species of birds. Sandhill Cranes are the most abundant of the world's cranes.
Rendered without post work in Firefly. Models included Nerd3D's Swamp set and my Sandhill Cranes
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