The Black Crowned Crane, also known as the West African Crowned Crane (Balearica pavonina pavonina) is a bird in the crane family Gruidae. It was once called also Kaffir Crane
This species and the closely related Grey Crowned Crane, B. regulorum, which prefers wetter habitats for foraging, are the only cranes that can nest in trees. 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.
Distribution / Range
It occurs in dry savannah in Africa south of the Sahara, although in nests in somewhat wetter habitats.
It is endangered, especially in the west, by habitat loss and degradation.
There are two races
- B. p. pavonina in the west, and
- the more numerous B. p. ceciliae in East Africa.
Diet / Feeding
Like all cranes, the Black Crowned Crane eats insects, reptiles, and small mammals.