Encyclopedia Article


A long-legged, long-necked bird that lives in swampy, shallow water areas. The sandhill crane follows seasonal migration routes along the Southwest region's water corridors, such as the Rio Grand, bringing the bird into contact with many of the extensive and disparate cultural landscapes of the Southwest. The crane is also one of the spiritual beings in the Navajo creation story within the present world.

Crane (or First Crane) volunteered to help Frog spread water to put out the fire in the world started by Coyote when he stole fire from Fire Man to bring the People warmth. The Navajo believe that because of this teamwork between frog and crane, this is why these animals live closely to one another in their water environments.

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"Sandhill cranes, March 5, 2014" by Donald Willin is licensed under CC BY.

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