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crested Crane Facts

Crested Crane Facts : The crested crane (Balearica regulorum gibbericeps) is the National bird of Uganda. It appears on the flag and the coat of arms, it can be found abundantly near the country’s many lakes and rivers that create fertile marshes whereby Uganda is abundant with the kind of wet, flat marsh and grassland these birds love.

Migration

Although grey-crowned cranes live throughout almost all of Africa some of them live far north in the arid Sahara desert where these birds will often migrate south for portions of the year to escape the hottest and driest months the desert has and here they join their more sedentary cousins in Uganda and Kenya who live near rivers and lakes.

Omnivores

The African Crested Crane falls under the category of “omnivore”, meaning that like humans, they can eat a combination of both meat and plants. Like most omnivorous birds the crested crane eats a mix of leaves and seeds from variety of plants, as well as insects, worms, and frogs.

They use cattle as their cover

It is not uncommon to find large groups of these cranes clustered together amidst a large group of cattle. This is something they’ve actually learned to do to prevent predators from being able to approach them as easily, the birds position themselves amongst a herd of large animals where they can find protection.

They love to dance  

The Grey-Crowned crane has a breeding display that involves an elaborate dance with various jumping and bows. The crested crane is known to dance year-round; they can be seen dancing at any time of the year, including non-breeding periods. Young birds are also often seen joining in the dancing, meaning these birds love to dance!

Distinct call

One of the features of the crested crane that caused it to be given a separate species designated from the Black-crowned crane is its distinct call. Most cranes make what sounds like a gobbling noise, like a turkey. Females always make this call during the mating period to attract the males.

They live up to 22 years

While this may not be that long of a time for a human to live, these cranes are living eleven times longer on average than most birds in the wild and this is at least partly due to their territorial nesting habitants preventing them from falling prey and suffering an early demise.

Hatch in 30 days and reach maturity in 3 years

African crested cranes typically lay between 2-4 eggs in a clutch, and these eggs are ready to hatch in about 30 days. They are then ready to breed when they reach 3 years of age.

They stay with their partner for life

Crested cranes practice what is called “monogamy” meaning that once they find a partner they will remain with that same breeding partner for life. They form pair bonds while they are young and will remain with the bird they bond to for the rest of their lives, breeding together each year and raising their young together.  

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