Omnivorous ground feeders, cranes eat frogs, rodents, insects, bulbs, seeds, and berries as well as occasional seashore delicacies. They have adapted well to agriculture and during the winter and on migration, feed largely on waste grain and small animals associated with farm fields.
The dance of the sandhills may be one of the strangest
breeding displays on the tundra. Often called a mating
dance, display activity reaches a peak in late winter and
early spring, but it has also been seen at other times of
the year when two cranes meet. The ritual starts with a
deep bow followed by great leaps, hops, skips, turns, and
more bows. This dance can go on for many minutes.