Common Crane

Grus grus

The Common Crane, also known as the Eurasian Crane, is a bird of the family Gruidae, the cranes.
Magical Dawn One of the best experiences in my life was migration of Common cranes in Serbia. Each year they stop at Slano Kopovo reserve to rest and regain strength so they can continue towards Middle East and Africa. This time it was about 11k birds there. A smaller number - sometimes local birdwatchers estimate over 50k birds. We started to walk when it was still pitch black. We were about 2km away from the lake but we could already hear the noise. As we were approaching it got almost deafening - se could not talk - and we didn't want to raise attention either. We didn't want to get any closer not to disturb them. As soon as there was some ambient light they started to take off for feeding. group by group they disappeared in the sky. Later I realised there were also some duck and goose species there as well. We spend all morning there walking around and were surrounded by these birds. Also occasional harrier, buzzard and heron. Common Crane,Geotagged,Grus grus,Serbia

Appearance

It is a large, stately bird and a medium-sized crane at 100–130 cm long, with a 180–240 cm wingspan and a weight of 4.5–6 kg. It is grey with a white facial streak and a bunch of black wing plumes. Adults have a red crown patch. It has a loud trumpeting call, given in flight and display. It has a dancing display, leaping with wings uplifted.
Gruidae  Common Crane,Geotagged,Grus grus,Israel

Distribution

It breeds in wetlands in northern parts of Europe and Asia. The global population is in the region of 210,000-250,000, with the vast majority nesting in Russia and Scandinavia. In Great Britain the Common Crane became extirpated in the 17th century, but a tiny population now breeds again in the Norfolk Broads and is slowly increasing and a reintroduction is planned for the Somerset levels. In Ireland, it died out as a breeding species in the 18th century, but a flock of about 20 appeared in County Cork in November 2011.
Grus grus  Common Crane,Geotagged,Grus grus,Israel

Food

It is omnivorous, eating leaves, roots, berries , insects, small birds and mammals.
Grus grus  Birds,Common Crane,Formation,Grus grus,cranes,in flight

Migration

It is a long distance migrant wintering in Africa, southern Europe, and southern Asia. Migrating flocks fly in a V formation. It is a rare visitor to western North America, where birds are occasionally seen with flocks of migrating Sandhill Cranes.

References:

Some text fragments are auto parsed from Wikipedia.

Status: Least concern
EX EW CR EN VU NT LC
Taxonomy
KingdomAnimalia
DivisionChordata
ClassAves
OrderGruiformes
FamilyGruidae
GenusGrus
SpeciesG. grus