Grey crowned crane
The grey crowned crane (Balearica regulorum) is a bird in the crane family Gruidae. It occurs in dry savannah in Africasouth of the Sahara, although it nests in somewhat wetter habitats. They can also be found in marshes, cultivated lands and grassy flatlands near rivers and lakes in eastern from the Uganda and Kenya, south to South Africa. This animal does not migrate. There are two subspecies. The East African B. r. gibbericeps (crested crane) occurs from easternDemocratic Republic of the Congo through Uganda, of which it is the national bird represented in its national flag, andKenya to eastern South Africa. It has a larger area of bare red facial skin above the white patch than the smaller nominate species, B. r. regulorum (South African crowned crane), which breeds from Angola south to South Africa. This species and the closely related black-crowned crane are the only cranes that can roost in trees, because of a long hind toe that can grasp branches. This habit, amongst other things, is a reason why the relatively small Balearica cranes are believed to closely resemble the ancestral members of the Gruidae.
The grey crowned crane is the national bird of Uganda and features in the country's flag and coat of arms. Although the grey crowned crane remains common over much of its range, it faces threats to its habitat due to drainage, overgrazing, and pesticide pollution. Their global population is estimated to be between 58,000 and 77,000 individuals. In 2012 it was uplisted from vulnerable to endangered by the IUCN.
During the breeding season, pairs of cranes construct a large nest; a platform of grass and other plants in tall wetland vegetation. The grey crowned crane lays a clutch of 2-5 glossy, dirty-white eggs, which are incubated by both sexes for 28–31 days. Chicks are precocial, can run as soon as they hatch, and fledge in 56–100 days.
Feeding:These cranes are omnivores, eating plants, seeds, grain, insects, frogs, worms, snakes, small fish and the eggs of aquatic animals. Stamping their feet as they walk, they flush out insects which are quickly caught and eaten. The birds also associate with grazing herbivores, benefiting from the ability to grab prey items disturbed by antelopes and gazelles. They spend their entire day looking for food. At night, the crowned crane spends it time in the trees sleeping and resting.