Guinea #1073
Crowned Cranes in Flight
Issued Dec. 28, 1987

Grey & Black
Crowned Crane

Compiled by Peter Y. Chou

The following information on the Grey & Black Crowned Crane were typed from reference books on birds in the Information Center of Stanford's Green Library.

Family: Cruidae; Species: Balearica regulorum; Length: 105 cm (41 inches)
The large, white wing-patches on the grey plumage of this species are noticeable in flight and in display. This crane inhabits marshland, where it feeds on animals such as large insects, frogs, and toads, and on grain and other plant materials. It is seen in heavy flight with neck and legs drooping slightly, or roosting in trees. Mated birds display to one another with a leaping dance and loud, two-note calls [u-wang u-wang].
Nest: A large, flattened mound of reeds, rushes, and grass, screened by vegetation, in a marsh.
Distribution: From Uganda and Kenya to South Africa.
Remarks: A closely related species, the Black Crowned-Crane,
is found along the southern edge of the Sahara and in Sudan.
Identification: Spiky crest, Red throat wattle, White wind patch
Long plumes on the neck and breast, Non-migrant, Plumage alike for sexes.

— Colin Harrison & Alan Greensmith, Birds of the World
     Dorling Kindersley, London, 1993, p. 121 [Stanford: QL673.H2895.1996-IC]

Balearica pavonina
Range: Africa, south of the Sahara
Habitat: Swamps
Size: 3.25 ft (1 meter) tall
The common name of this bird is derived from the crest of yellow feathers on its head. Cranes perform courtship dances in the breeding season and, in a simpler form, through the year. The crowned creane postures with wings outstretched to display its feathers, struts about and jumps in the air. Both parents incubate the 2 or 3 eggs and care for the young.

— Philip Whitfield (Ed.), Animals: Birds Volume 2
     A Macmillan Illustrated Encyclopedia
     Macmillan, NY, 1999, p. 259 [Stanford: QL605.3A56.1999vol.2-IC]

The Crown-bird, Balearica pavonina is widely distributed in Africa from Abyssinia, the Sudan, and Senegal southwards and is notably abundant in Uganda, of which country it is the national emblem; there are several races, of which B. p. regulorum of South Africa (with grey instead of black neck) is treated by some authors as a separated species. The forecrown is covered by velvety black plumes, and there is a distinctive tuft of stiff straw-coloured feathers on the nape; the bare cheeks and throat are pink and white, and the eye is pearl-coloured; the general plumage is dark, with the bill and legs black. The South African form, once common, is becoming scarcer owing to human persecution and the drainage of swampy ground. [— George Christoffel Alexander Junge]

— Sir A. Landsborough Thomson (Ed.), A New Dictionary of Birds
     McGraw-Hill, New York, 1964, p. 162 [Stanford: QL673.T48-IC]

Web Links on Grey Crowned Crane
Grey Crowned Crane (Wikipedia)
Grey Crowned Crane (International Crane Foundation)
Grey Crowned Crane (USGS Status Survey)
Grey Crowned-Crane Stamps (By Chris Gibbins)
Gray Crowned Crane (Wild Animals Online)
East African Crowned Crane (Oakland Zoo Video)
Grey-Crowned Crane (By Janis O'Grady)
East African Crowned Crane (San Francisco Zoo)
Fact Sheet (Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo)
East African Crowned Crane (
Crowned Crane Factfile (Dept. of Education, Isle of Man)
East African Crowned Crane (Animal Bytes,
Gray Crowned-Crane (Mangoverde World Bird Guide)
Grey Crowned Crane (Kenya Birds)
Cranes: Fun Facts (San Diego Zoo)
Grey Crowned Crane (Edinburgh Zoo, UK)

Web Links on Black Crowned Crane
Black Crowned Crane (International Crane Foundation)
Black Crowned Crane (Wikipedia)
Black Crowned Crane (USGS Status Survey)
Black Crowned-Crane Stamps (By Chris Gibbins)
West African Crowned Crane (Columbus Zoo)
Southern Crowned Crane (Hilo Zoo, Hawaii)
The Gruidae or Cranes (Earth-Life Web)
Balearica pavonina (Zoological Museum, Amsterdam)
Black Crowned Crane (Wild Animals Online)
Black Crown Crane (Colorado State University)

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