Eurasian Crane aka Common Cranes

Eurasian Crane aka Common Cranes (Grus grus)

The Common Crane (Grus grus), also known as the Eurasian Cranes, breeds in wetlands in northern parts of Europe and Asia.

Eurasian Cranes Standing in Water
Eurasian Crane Standing in Water

Its global population in the region is estimated to be 210,000-250,000, with the vast majority breeding in Russia and Scandinavia. This long-distance migrant crane winters in Africa (south to Morocco and Ethiopia), southern Europe, and southern Asia (south to northern Pakistan and eastern China). 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.

Formerly extinct in Great Britain since the 17th century, a small population now breeds again in the Norfolk Broads and its numbers are slowly increasing.


This large bird averages 100-130 cm in length; has a 180-230 cm wingspan and weighs around 4.5-6 kg.

It is grey with a white facial streak and a bunch of black plumes on its tail. Adults have a red crown patch.

It has an elaborate dancing display, leaping with wings uplifted.

Close up of Eurasian Cranes
Close up of Eurasian Crane

Diet / Feeding:

It feeds on leaves, roots, berries, insects, small birds and mammals.

Calls / Vocalizations

 Eurasian Cranes have a loud trumpeting call, given in flight and display.

Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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