Grey Crowned Crane – Uganda Birding Safaris
Grey crowned crane ; Grey crowned crane is a unique and beautiful African crowned crane bird species that falls in the crane family ‘’Gruidae’’ and it can only be found in the eastern and southern Africa. Despite the fact, in Uganda is famously known as the national bird of Uganda which can be seen on Uganda’s National Flag. Furthermore, the grey crowned crane is closely related to the black crowned crane and both species are treated as the same species and are separable on the basis of genetic as a way of evidence, calls, plumage and bare parts and today are being treated the same. The two subspecies are found in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and in Uganda. In Uganda is represented in kits national flag and Kenya to eastern South Africa, thus Uganda Safaris Tours.
The grey crowned crane is about 1-meter-tall and they weigh 3.5 kilograms with a wingspan of 2 meters.
Their bodies are plumaged mainly in grey color have wings which are predominately white but contain feathers with ranger of colors.
Their heads have crown of stiff golden feathers and both sides of the face are white and small bright red inflatable throat pouch
Their bill is relatively short and grey and the legs are black.
Grey crested crane have long legs which helps them in wading through the grasses. Their feet are kind large, yet slender and are adapted for balance rather than grasping.
Male species are slightly larger.
When they are still young have greyer hair than adults with a feathered buff face.
Although, they lack a coiled trachea and have loose plumage compared to the other cranes.
Habitat of Grey Crested Crane
This species is inhabitant of dry savannah in Sub-Saharan Africa.
They can also be found in Marshes, cultivated lands and grassy flatlands near river and lakes in Uganda and Kenya as well as far south Africa. The best way of spotting them localized seasonal movements during drier period.
Behaviors –Grey Crested Crane
They grey crested crane has a unique behavior breeding display which involves in dancing, bowing and jumping.
They have a honking sound which is quite different from the trumpeting of other crane species.
Diet and Feeding
They are omnivores which feed on plants, seeds, grain and insect, worms, snakes, smells fish and eggs of aquatic animals.
These species are associated with grazing herbivores that benefits from the ability to grab prey items disturbed by gazelles and antelopes.
They also spend whole day looking for food and then at night they spend the time in the tree sleeping and resting.
They usually breed around the rain seasons, although the effect varies geographically and during the drier periods while in southern Africa the breeding season is timed to rainfall.
During their breeding season tend to construct a large nest in tall wetland vegetation.
They lay their dirty white eggs which are incubated by both sexes for 28 -31 days. The chicks are precocial which can run as soon as they hatch and fledge in over 56 -100 days. And once they are fully grown, then will separate from their parents to start their own family.
They are endangered; Crested crane is a resilient animal which can be found in abundance in same areas.
The crested crane can live up to 22 years.
Threat; Although their number is decreasing due to drainage, overgrazing and pesticide pollution. Globally, they estimate a population between 58,000 and 77,000 individuals.