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Africa's Beautiful Crowned Cranes

Updated on August 31, 2016

The Grey-crowned crane and the Black-crowned crane live in Africa. They are very large and beautiful birds.

The Gray-crowned Crane

By Rod Waddington, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=42119723
By Rod Waddington, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=42119723 | Source

The Gray Crowned crane makes its home in many areas of Africa. They spend a lot of time in marshes, rivers, floodplains and savannas that are near water. They are also called the East African Crowned Crane.


By Didier Moïse, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=38316481
By Didier Moïse, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=38316481 | Source

The Gray Crowned crane has a body that is mostly gray. Their gray wings will have a yellow band streaked with white. They have lighter gray feathers on their neck and they will have a crown of black- tipped yellow feathers on their head. Their cheek is red on the top and has a white spot on the bottom. The rest of their face is black. They have a gray bill that is short. Their legs are gray. They have a red inflatable gular sack at the bottom of their chin.


By SajjadF - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=29419274
By SajjadF - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=29419274 | Source

The Gray Crowned crane is almost 3 and a half feet tall and weighs almost 8 pounds. They have a 6.5 foot wingspan. They female is smaller than the male.



 By Noel Feans - originally posted to Flickr as Balearica regulorum, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9511142
By Noel Feans - originally posted to Flickr as Balearica regulorum, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9511142 | Source

The Gray Crowned Crane will roost in trees which is unusual for cranes. They are able to do this because they have a prehensile hind toe that they use to grasp the branches.


By Jepsen - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4833819
By Jepsen - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4833819 | Source

The Gray Crowned crane will usually live 22 years in the wild. They have been known to live 60 years in captivity.

CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=443207
CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=443207 | Source

The Gray Crowned crane will breed year around. The main breeding is done from December to February. They will mate for life. They will do a courting dance to impress their mate. Both the male and female will inflate their gular sack.



By Didier Descouens - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=27883707
By Didier Descouens - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=27883707 | Source
By Hossein Zohrevand - http://www.tasnimnews.com/fa/media/1395/04/30/1135697/جشن-تولد-درنای-تاجدار-در-معرض-انقراض, CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=50274252
By Hossein Zohrevand - http://www.tasnimnews.com/fa/media/1395/04/30/1135697/جشن-تولد-درنای-تاجدار-در-معرض-انقراض, CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=50274252 | Source

The Gray Crowned crane prefers to build their nest near water. Their nest is a platform of vegetation and it will be 50 to 61cm in diameter. The female usually lays 2 to 3 eggs that will hatch in 26 to 30 days. When the chicks are 12 hours old they are able to float and swim. They will start eating when they are 1 day old. When they are 2 days old they will go with their parents to look for food. The chicks will stay in the marshlands where they can hide. When the chicks are 56 to 100 days old they will fledge but they are not considered mature until they are 3 years old. After fledging the chicks will go to a juvenile flock until they mature.




 By Rod Waddington from Kergunyah, Australia - Crested Cranes, Uganda, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=36667408
By Rod Waddington from Kergunyah, Australia - Crested Cranes, Uganda, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=36667408 | Source

The Gray Crowned crane lives in a flock made up of 30 to 150 birds. They do not migrate but, they do move around looking for food and water.


By © Francis C. Franklin / CC-BY-SA-3.0, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=31944108
By © Francis C. Franklin / CC-BY-SA-3.0, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=31944108 | Source

The Gray Crowned crane protects its self from predators by perching in trees. They are sometimes attacked by domestic dogs.



 By Lip Kee from Singapore, Republic of Singapore - Crowned crane, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46603608
By Lip Kee from Singapore, Republic of Singapore - Crowned crane, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46603608 | Source

The Gray Crowned crane is on Uganda's flag and coat of arms. They are the country's national bird.


The Black-crowned Crane

 By Fabienkhan - personal picture, CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4137092
By Fabienkhan - personal picture, CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4137092 | Source

The Black-crowned Cranes make their home in Saharan Africa. The Black-crowned crane is also called the West African Crowned crane. They like to live in marshy areas, moors, rifts, and bogs. They also like shores of lakes, ponds, and grasslands that are near water.


 By Steve Garvie from Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland - Black Crowned Crane (Balearica pavonina), CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11461453
By Steve Garvie from Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland - Black Crowned Crane (Balearica pavonina), CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11461453 | Source

The Black-crowned crane is a beautiful bird that has a body that is mainly black. Their wings have white and gold on them. Their face has white and red patches on it. They also have a gular pouch that is not very big. They have a gold crown on their head. They have black legs and feet. They are around 3.5 feet tall and will weigh just under 8 pounds.



By Photo by and (c)2006 Derek Ramsey (Ram-Man) - Own work, GFDL 1.2, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=918853
By Photo by and (c)2006 Derek Ramsey (Ram-Man) - Own work, GFDL 1.2, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=918853 | Source

The Black-crowned crane will breed during the wet season, which is from May through December. They will usually nest near water. They use rushes and grass to build their nest. The male and female will take turns sitting on the eggs until they hatch in 28 to 31 days. In 56 to 100 days the chicks will start to fly. The cranes live in flocks, but usually move around in pairs.


CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1072027
CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1072027 | Source

The Black-crowned crane will eat almost anything such as seeds, fruit, insects, snails, lizards, crabs, and snakes. If it will fit in their mouth, they will eat it.


 By Olaf Oliviero Riemer, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=25596097
By Olaf Oliviero Riemer, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=25596097 | Source

The Turkana natives of Kenya think of the Black-crowned crane as messengers of peace The natives think the Black-crowned crane gets rid of pests on their livestock. They also believe the cranes protect the swamps and waterholes so they are protected.







Comments

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    • norlawrence profile imageAUTHOR

      Norma Lawrence 

      24 months ago from California

      Thank you. They are beautiful birds.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      24 months ago from Stillwater, OK

      Cranes are some of the most beautiful birds in the world. You did a nice job on these birds.

    • norlawrence profile imageAUTHOR

      Norma Lawrence 

      24 months ago from California

      Thanks for reading my article. There are some beautiful birds out there.

    • vasantha  T k profile image

      vasantha T k 

      24 months ago from Bangalore

      Lovely pictures and adorable baby bird.

    • norlawrence profile imageAUTHOR

      Norma Lawrence 

      2 years ago from California

      Thanks Jackie. They are beautiful

    • norlawrence profile imageAUTHOR

      Norma Lawrence 

      2 years ago from California

      Thank you billybuc. I loved that show myself.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      2 years ago from The Beautiful South

      So beautiful and the baby adorable! Who could see such wildlife beauties and not believe in God?

      Great job. Shared.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      One of my favorite shows growing up was "Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom." I know, I was a nerd! Anyway, this series of yours reminds me of that show...with fondness.

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