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Demoiselle Cranes

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Demoiselle Cranes Details

Demoiselle Cranes

Anthropoides virgo

Our Demoiselle Cranes are 18 to 36" tall, DNA sexed and flying. They range from two to four months of age. They will be shipped via Air Cargo to your local airport thru either Delta or United Cargo Services. 

Marie Antoinette coined the name Demoiselle Crane. When the birds were first brought into France, she felt they looked like 'damsels' or 'pretty maidens' because of their delicate elegance.

Demoiselle Cranes are the smallest of all the cranes species, and also one of the most elegant and graceful in design. Their bodies and outer wings are a pale silver-blue and the undersides of the wings and tails are black. Their necks are mostly black. They have swirls of white feathers curving out from the top of the head and side of the eye. The black feathers on the front of the neck become full and mane-like, opulently extending over the light-colored chest. The curve of the white feathers on the head matches and accentuates the curve of the neck. This is an unforgettable and attractive bird. Demoiselle cranes have red eyes and relatively short ivory colored beaks with grey and pink markings. They have black legs. Males and females are similar in appearance, with females tending to be a bit smaller in size. The call of the Demoiselle Crane is a high-pitched trumpet.

Range: Demoiselles are migratory cranes. They migrating between Central Asia and Eurasia in breeding season across the Himalayan Mountains to South Asia and Africa for the winter.

Habitat: Demoiselle Cranes are varied in their habitat. Their natural habitat includes desert as well as flooded grasslands. These cranes are common in dry grassland environments. They are always within a short flight of a water source. They often nest in areas where grass is tall enough to hide them but short enough to allow them to watch for predators.

Status in the Wild: Demoiselle Cranes are the second most abundant crane in the world, and as such, the population is stable overall. Certain population groups are endangered due to various environmental and human factors, but worldwide population is well over 200,000 birds.

Status in Aviculture: Cranes are an unusual and exciting bird to see in captivity. They are not for the beginner or inexperienced bird enthusiast. Demoiselles have been very successfully kept in domesticated environments.

Breeding: Dancing is a normal part of crane courtship and breeding behavior. Both males and females participate - going through a series of choreographed bobs, twirls, bows, jumps, and short runs. There is much wing flapping and stick or grass flinging, as well as calls back and forth between the two. The dance is not limited to mating behavior - the cranes dance as a general social interaction. Males and females will mate for life once they have reached reproductive age of 4 to 8 years.

Incubation: Eggs are usually laid on the ground without much nesting material. There are 2 eggs laid, and the incubation period is 26-29 days, performed by both the male and female. Males take on the protective role of defending the nest. One clutch of eggs is produced per year. Young birds are gray in color with their heads being almost all white. The first flight or fledging is between 55 and 65 days old. They usually stay with their parents in a family group until 8 or 10 months of age.

Lifespan: Although lifespan in the wild is currently unknown, Demoiselles kept in captivity can live longer than 27 years, with some reports of over 60 years.

Size: Demoiselle Cranes are 33-40 inches in length, with a wingspan of 61-71 inches; they weigh between 4 and 7 pounds.

Housing Requirements: At least 150 square feet of well-protected aviary space per bird is required. Although these birds are very adaptable, Demoiselles will need as much space as possible to thrive. Indoor winter shelter will be needed, and if temperatures are under freezing for more than a week or so at a time, a heater will mostly likely be necessary. Cranes are very vulnerable to predators when kept in an aviary. Be sure aviary is secure even against small predators like mink and weasel.

Diet: The wild Demoiselles eat a wide omnivorous diet consisting of plant material, insects, nuts, small animals, etc. Commercial Crane Diet is available and is recommended for general feeding, but supplementing with peanuts, greens, mealworms, fruit, and even small fish would be a good healthy dietary addition.

Miscellaneous Notes: Known in Northern India as koonj, these birds are culturally significant, being featured in art and literature both as symbols of beauty as well as metaphors for people who have undertaken arduous journeys reflected in their migratory patterns.


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Demoiselle Cranes

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