East African Crowned Cranes
- 2-5 Eggs per clutch
- Breeding season December to February but can varies and sometimes can occur year-round.
- Incubation period 30 days
- Magestic, gregarious, social as a group, can be agressive protecting young
- 44-48 inches tall, 6-8 pounds
The Grey Crowned Crane is one of those animals that are so unusual and spectacular that it commands your attention. First, there is its appearance: cranes are tall, they have a bright red sack that inflates on their throats (called a gular sack), and, to top it all off, they have a "crown" of stiff, golden feathers on their heads. Along with the striking appearance, Grey Crowned Cranes do elaborate dances that involve stick or grass throwing, wing flapping, knee bending, and more. How could you not pay attention to something like that?
The natural habitat of the Grey Crowned Crane is threatened due to human population growth. While serious efforts to conserve the crowned cranes' natural habitat are being undertaken, captive breeding programs in other parts of the world are appropriate and useful, as well. In some cases, well-managed captive breeding programs have saved species from extinction. We are happy to be able to offer Grey Crowned Cranes for sale. Please be sure to carefully read the shipping information when you order, as it differs from our normal shipping process.
In the wild, Grey Crowned Cranes are found in East Africa. They prefer to live in areas that give them access to both grasslands and wetlands. They are omnivorous and eat grass, insects, nuts, small vertebrates, millet, invertebrates, and much else. Their varied diet helps these cranes survive even in areas where there are humans.
For captive breeding purposes, it is important to note that cranes can survive in colder areas if they are given hay or other protection to stand on. They are not as hardy as chickens or ducks, but more so than some other exotic species. At one time, crowned cranes appear to have lived throughout Europe, but their habitat has shrunk to parts of eastern Africa.
Wetlands with abundant cover usually provide areas for nesting. Nests are constructed where the cover is tall enough to conceal the cranes. Grey Crowned Cranes lay more eggs per clutch than other cranes, with between 2 and 5 eggs on average. Both sexes incubate the eggs for 28-31 days.
All cranes dance. Although the dance is commonly thought of as a courtship ritual, it can be done at any time and experts believe that it is part of the normal motor development of a crane. The Grey Crowned Crane inflates its red gular sack, which is sometimes referred to as a "throat pouch" and produces a loud, booming call, in addition to bowing, flapping its wings, dipping, and so on. Besides normal development and as part of the mating ritual, cranes dance to relieve tension or distract predators.
Juvenile cranes take their first flight when they are between 50 and 100 days old, but do not reach maturity until around 3 years old. Mated pairs and juveniles usually maintain a family structure for as much as 9-10 months. Adults will sometimes hide the juvenile cranes in the wetlands and fly into the trees to roost at night. Crowned cranes are the only cranes with the ability to perch because they have a long hind toe, called a hallux, that allows for grasping.
It is difficult to distinguish adult males and females from one another. The only difference is that males are often slightly larger than females. Both sexes are predominately grey, with white wings and white cheeks, with a bare patch of red skin just above the cheek. Juveniles are more grey than adults with buff patches on their necks and faces.