African Crowned Crane

The crowned crane has a beautiful gray and white plumage with a crown of stiff, yellow feathers that covers the head giving this bird the look of a punk rocker. Known for their courtship rituals, the male and female crane perform an elaborate mating dance consisting of bobbing, flapping wings and swirling circles around each other. A mated pair will raise young together and are very protective of them—sometimes chasing zookeepers away! In folklore, cranes are believed to bring rain. They are often celebrated and included in rituals to bring on the rain.

African Crowned Crane

Balearica regulorum

Habitat: Wetlands in Eastern Africa

Diet in the wild: Grain, fruit, roots, insects, worms, snails, small vertebrates

Diet at Caldwell Zoo: Hard-boiled egg, lettuce, apple, mealworms, oyster shell.

Size: Crowned cranes can stand up to 4 feet tall

Family: Young cranes will live with parents for almost a year

Status: Endangered

Did you know? The crowned crane is the only crane species that roosts in trees due to a prehensile hind toe.

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