The typical sandhill crane measures in at about 47.2 inches and weighs between 119.9 and 172.8 ounces. The World’s Largest Sandhill Crane measures in at 40 feet and weighs about 4.5 tons.
Meet Sandy, a giant Sandhill Crane who lives in Steele, North Dakota. She is the biggest crane in the world and is made out of rolled sheet metal and was built in 1998/99 by ironworker James Miller
The North Dakota roadside attraction is located behind the Cobblestone Inn and Suites in Steele (formerly said to live at the now-closed Lone Steer Motel, Restaurant, Lounge, Casino & Campground) right off of I-94.
Along with Salem Sue and the World’s Largest Buffalo, the biggest crane in the world is a must-see roadside attraction in North Dakota. Unfortunately, the day I was road tripping through the skies were overcast the air was pretty foggy, making for a pretty drab visit to a pretty cheerful bird (I mean, I guess you can’t win them all…).
Still, I was impressed with the size of this big bird…and the fact that it came with a built in selfie spot in the form of a hole and a hill.
More photos of the World’s Largest Sandhill Crane in North Dakota:
From the Kiosk Sign:
The Coteau Rangleland is an area of glacial potholes located in the central flyway, which makes this a favorite spot for migratory nesting wildlife including the Sandhill Crane. The crane is the oldest living species of birds and has existed unchanged for 2 1/2 million years. In real life, the crane stands 3-4 ft. tall with a wingspan of 6-7 feet.
The US Game and Fish – Long Lake Refuge donated funds towards materials and the construction of three birding kiosks. They provide self guided tours of Long Lake Refuge, Dawson Slade Refuge, Horsehead Lake and Chase Lake and the different migratory and nesting birds in each area.
“Sandy” the World’s Largest Sandhill Crane was built in 1998-99 by James Miller of Arena. ND in his farm shop. James was a self-taught ironworker and farmer and used his talents to build many farm signs with themes like fishing, hunting, and farm animals.
When contacted about building this tall statue, James said he was “up” for the task. He proceeded with drawings, which were then transferred to a steel inner framework. Rolled sheet metal was welded into place and finally the crane was painted. The body was built in one section, the neck and head in another, and the legs were made of pipe. It was fully assembled at his shop, then transported to the site location on a lo-boy.
The statue is sponsored and maintained by the World’s Largest Sandhill Crane Foundation located in Steel, ND. It is a non-profit organization funded by private donations and the World’s Largest Sandhill Crane Gaming.
World’s Largest Sandhill Crane
Location: 299 5th St NE, Steele, ND; behind Cobblestone Inn & Suites – Steele, 623 Mitchell Ave N, Steele, ND
Hours: Always Visible
Cost: Free to See