Common Crane

Grus grus




Cranes (Gruidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Brown or olive with red brown spots

Number of Eggs:


Incubation Days:


Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

In shallow water.

Nest Material:






Common Crane: Large wading bird, gray overall with a black face, chin, throat and neck; shows a patch of bare red skin on crown. Black flight feathers and short tail are visible in flight. Bill is dull yellow; legs and feet are black. Juvenile is gray and brown mottled.

Range and Habitat

Common Crane: This species breeds in northern parts of Europe and western Asia. It is a long distance migrant wintering in Africa and southern Europe. In North America it appears as an accidental vagrant to central Alaska, western Canada, the Great Plains, and the Midwest. It prefers forest clearings, bogs, wetlands, fields and meadows with ponds. In migration stays on open arable land.

Breeding and Nesting

Common Crane: Two brownish or olive eggs spotted with red brown are laid in a grass nest placed in shallow water, set on reeds, or in a thicket. Sometimes the same nest is used for several years. Incubation takes about 30 days and is carried by both sexes in turn - female incubates at night and male during the day. Both parents feed the young. These birds have one brood per year.

Foraging and Feeding

Common Crane: Feed preferably on seeds, berries, grain, and young shoots. Frequentlyeats insects and mollusks, occasionally takes small mammals, fish, and frogs. Chooses dry places to look for food.


Common Crane: Bold piercing trumpeting or at times a low mellow warble.

Similar Species

Common Crane: Sandhill Crane lacks black and white head and neck, and has red skin on lores and crown, and only primary feathers are black.

The area of the face just below the bill.
The crown is the top part of the birds head.
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
Flight feathersX
Located on the wing, and collectively called remiges (singular, remex). The long stiff feathers are subdivided into two major groups based on the location and are called primaries and secondaries.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X