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Cranes: Gruidae

Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, Gray Crowned Crane (balearica Regulorum): Species Accounts, Sandhill Crane (grus Canadensis): Species AccountsPHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS, GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, CRANES AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION STATUS

GRAY CROWNED CRANE (Balearica regulorum): SPECIES ACCOUNTS
SANDHILL CRANE (Grus canadensis): SPECIES ACCOUNTS
RED-CROWNED CRANE (Grus japonensis): SPECIES ACCOUNTS

Cranes are tall birds with large wings, long legs, and long, graceful necks. Most species are black and white or gray in color. Often there are bright patches of bare red skin that are shown in threat and dance displays.


Cranes are found on all continents except for Antarctica and South America.


Most cranes live in wetland habitats. Breeding generally occurs during the summer in freshwater wetlands. Some cranes spend the winter in coastal saltwater marshes. A small number of crane species live primarily in grassland habitats.


Cranes symbolize good luck in many places throughout the world. The whooping crane is used as a symbol of conservation in the North American because it nearly became extinct before intense efforts by the United States and Canada helped populations increase in number.


Of the fifteen crane species, one is listed as Critically Endangered, facing an extremely high risk of extinction, or dying out, in the wild. Two are listed as Endangered, facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild, and six are listed as Vulnerable, facing a high risk of extinction in the wild, by the World Conservation Union (IUCN).

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Animal Life ResourceBirds