Thursday, March 6, 2014
Creature Feature #139: Crowned Crane
The elegant Crowned Crane makes his home in the wetlands and open areas of southern Africa, where he spends most of his day looking for food. Omnivorous in diet, he dines upon plants, seeds, grains, lizards and frogs, as well as stamping his feet to flush out insects, which are quickly caught and gobbled up. Sometimes he will hang around with herds of grazing animals, benefiting from the insects disturbed in their foraging. Although he mostly leads a terrestrial existence, he is one of the few crane species that is capable of roosting in trees - due to his long hind claw. When courting, both male and female dance together: bowing and jumping, and emitting booming calls. After mating, they construct a large and clumsy nest, in which 2-5 eggs are laid. Chicks are precocial, and can run soon after they hatch.