World's Largest Sandhill Crane
Steele, North Dakota
See more photos of the World's Largest Sandhill Crane
Location: Steele, North Dakota (I-94 exit 200)
Height: 40 feet
Weight: 4.5 tons
Construction Materials: metal frame covered with rolled steel sheets
Special Designation: World's Largest Sandhill Crane
Year Built: 1999
Admission: Free (donations welcomed)
to the World's Largest Sandhill Crane...
Welcoming visitors to the city of Steele, North Dakota, the World's Largest Sandhill Crane, A.K.A. "Sandy", stands at attention on the Interstate 94 side of the Lone Steer Motel/Cafe.
Completed in 1999 by Arena, North Dakota resident James Miller, the World's Largest Sandhill Crane weighs in at 4.5 tons and extends to 40 feet in height. Constructed of rolled sheet metal welded onto a steel inner frame, the crane was actually
built in three separate sections - the body in one section, the neck and head in another, and pipes were fitted to make the legs. Currently, the area surrounding the crane is populated by numerous native grasses, flowers, and trees. In 2004, the James Miller
Memorial Flower Garden was added along with three birding informational kiosks. Future plans for the site include a butterfly garden and a wetland area.
Why did the residents of
Steele, North Dakota erect a gigantic Sandhill Crane? Simple, it's to call attention to the fact that Kidder County is one of the best birding destinations in North America. The Coteau
Rangeland of North Dakota, commonly known as the Prairie Pothole Region, is an area of glacial potholes located in the direct path of the migration flyway - making this area a favorite spot for migratory nesting birds including the Sandhill Crane.
Visit the World's Largest Sandhill Crane Foundation's website at www.sandhillcranefoundation.org for even more info and photos.
For more information about the Steele Birding Drive check out this website.
To learn more about the city of Steele, North Dakota see their website at www.steelend.com.
World's Largest Sandhill Crane Fun Facts...
Fact #1: The Crane is the oldest living species of birds
existing unchanged for 2.5 million years.
Fact #2: In real life, the Sandhill Crane stands 3 to 4 feet tall with a wingspan of 6 to 7 feet.
Fact #3: The World's Largest Sandhill Crane was named "Sandy" by an area student in a "Name the Bird Contest".
How to Find It...
To find this
truly unique North Dakota roadside attraction:
Take EXIT 200 off of Interstate 94 (Steele exit),
Go towards the town of Steele for about 200 feet then turn LEFT into the Lone Steer Motel/Cafe,
The Crane is located towards the back of the motel on the I-94 side. You can't miss it, trust me!