Graced with illustrations by the author, Crane Music introduces the two North American crane species. The sandhill, most often seen, is within easy reach of bird-watchers in the center of the continent. Less visible is the whooping crane, struggling back from near extinction. Paul Johnsgard follows these elegant birds through a year’s cycle, describing their seasonal migrations, natural habitats, breeding biology, call patterns—angelic to the bird-lover’s ear—and fascinating dancing.The largest and most spectacular migratory concentration of cranes happens each spring when the Platte River valley becomes the staging ground for an amazing gathering of four hundred thousand to five hundred thousand sandhills en route from the South to the Arctic tundra. Johnsgard describes this incredible event as well as memorable personal encounters with the cranes. His knowledge of them transcends natural history, covering their importance in religion and mythology. 1998 paperback reprint.