Crane Identification

There are fifteen species of Crane including the Black Crowned Crane, Black-necked Crane, Blue Crane, Brolga, Common Crane, Demoiselle Crane, Grey Crowned Crane, Hooded Crane, Red-crowned Crane, Sandhill Crane, Sarus Crane, Siberian Crane, Wattled Crane, White-naped Crown, and Whooping Crane.

Cranes are tall long-necked and long-legged birds of the family Gruidae.

They look similar to Herons but Cranes fly with their necks outstretched while the Heron will fly with a hunched neck. Most Cranes have an elaborate and noisy courtship dance which involves leaping in the air and dancing. They generally lay two eggs but only rear the strongest chick. Most species of Crane are listed as 'Vulnerable' or even 'Endangered'.

Click to enlarge Blue Crane
(Anthropoides Paradisea)
Photo: 57814397@N00 & Animal Photos!
Click to enlarge Black Crowned Crane
(Balearica Pavonina)
Photo: Dave Key
Click to enlarge Black-necked Crane
(Grus Nigricollis)
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Click to enlarge Brolga Crane
(Grus Rubicunda)
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Click to enlarge Common Crane
(Grus Grus)
Photo: Dave Key
Click to enlarge Demoiselle Crane
(Anthropoides Virgo)
Photo: Dave Key
Click to enlarge Grey Crowned Crane
(Balearica Regulorum)
Photo: Nigel Key
Click to enlarge Hooded Crane
(Grus Monacha)
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Click to enlarge Red-crowned Crane
(Grus Japonensis)
Photo: Dave Key
Click to enlarge Sandhill Crane
(Grus Canadensis)
Photo: hawk684 and Animal Photos!
Click to enlarge Sarus Crane
(Grus Antigone)
Photo: 7326810@N08 and Animal Photos!
Click to enlarge Siberian Crane
(Grus Leucogeranus)
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Click to enlarge Wattled Crane
(Bugeranus Carunculatus)
Photo: 97964364@N00 & Animal Photos!
Click to enlarge White-naped Crane
(Grus Vipio)
Photo: chdwckvnstrsslhm & Animal Photos!
Click to enlarge Whooping Crane
(Grus Americana)
Photo: lisalenscap & Animal Photos!

Blue Crane: The Blue Crane is a relatively small Crane and has a pale blue-grey plumage with a white crown, pink beak, trailing wingtips (tertials) are dark-grey, and long dark legs. Both sexes are alike.
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Black Crowned Crane: The Black Crowned Crane is similar but darker than the Grey Crowned Crane. It has a mainly dark-grey or blackish body, blackish primary flight feathers, bright-chestnut secondary and tertial feathers, white wing coverts, elongated dark-grey neck feathers, a large distinctive crown of stiff golden feathers, black head, large bare cheek patches which are white above and reddish below, and red inflatable throat poach. The beak is grey and legs are blackish. Both sexes are alike but male is usually slightly larger.
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Black-necked Crane: The Black-necked Crane has a mainly whitish-grey body with a black head and upper neck, a small red patch on the crown above the eye, a small white patch at the back of the eye, a black tail, black primary and secondary wing feathers, and black legs and feet. Both sexes are alike but male is usually slightly larger.
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Common Crane: The Common Crane is a medium sized crane with a red patch on its crown, dark grey-black neck and face with a long white facial-streak, light-grey body, and a bunch of black wing plumes. Both sexes are alike.
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Brolga Crane: The Brolga Crane has a mainly silver-grey body, a grey crown, reddish patch on the nape, and a black dewlap under the chin, the wings are grey with black primary feathers, and blackish legs and feet. Both sexes are alike but the male is usually slightly larger.
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Demoiselle Crane: The Demoiselle Crane is the smallest of all Crane species, has a light bluish-grey body, the head and neck are black with a light grey stripe that extends from the beak to the nape, and a white feather plume from behind the eye running down the neck. The black feathers on the front lower neck hang down below the breast. The eyes are orange-red, and legs are black. Both sexes are alike.
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Grey Crowned Crane: The Grey Crowned Crane has a mainly grey body, with white wings which also contain brown-gold feathers, a large distinctive crown of stiff golden feathers, black head, large white cheeks with small red patches, and red inflatable throat poach. The beak is grey and legs are black. Both sexes are alike but male is usually slightly larger.
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Hooded Crane: The Hooded Crane is more bulkier than other Cranes and has a mainly dark-grey body with a white head and upper neck, a bare red patch above the eye or on the forehead, the primary and secondary flight feathers and tail are black, and legs and feet are dark-grey. Both sexes are alike but male is usually slightly larger.
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Red-crowned Crane: The Red-crowned Crane has a mainly snow white body, a red crown, a black neck, cheeks, throat, and the front of the face, white primary flight feathers, black secondary wing feathers which can be seen while it is standing and can be mistaken for the tail which is actually white, and the legs and feet are grey-black. Both sexes are alike but male is usually slightly larger.
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Sandhill Crane: The Sandhill Crane is a large bird which has a light-grey plumage, although during the breeding season it can become stained with mud, a long neck, red forehead, white cheeks and chin, yellow eyes, long grey beak, and long dark-grey legs. Both sexes are alike.
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Sarus Crane: The Sandhill Crane is the tallest of the Crane species with a grey plumage, naked red face and upper-neck, greyish crown, grey ear covert patch, orange-red eyes, long greenish-grey beak, whitish mid-neck, black primary wing feathers, grey secondary feathers and white tertials, and long reddish-pink legs. Both sexes are alike.
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Siberian Crane: The Siberian Crane has a pure white plumage, the front of the face from behind the yellow eye to the beak is bare red skin, the primary flight feathers and primary coverts are black, and the legs and feet are pinkish. Both sexes are alike but the male is usually slightly larger.
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Wattled Crane: The Wattled Crane is the second largest of the Crane species and has a grey crown, a grey patch around the eye, bare red skin patch from the base of the beak to the eye which is covered in bumps, white face, white feathered wattles which hang down from the upper-throat, red eyes, long pointed beak, the long neck and upper breast are white, grey back and wings with primary wing feathers, long secondaries, and tail coverts being black, and long dark legs and toes. Both sexes are alike.
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White-naped Crane:The White-naped Crane is a large Crane with a grey plumage, white on the crown which extends all the way down the back of its long neck, a white throat, large bare red patch around the eye, long pointed greenish-yellow beak, black, white, and grey wings, and long pinkish legs and toes. Both sexes are alike.
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Whooping Crane:The Whooping Crane has a white plumage with a long neck, red crown, black forehead and facial patch, black moustache on sides of the long pointed black beak, yellow eyes, black primary flight feathers which can be seen in flight, and long dark legs. Both sexes are alike.
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