Demoiselle Crane at the Louisville Zoo

Crane, Demoiselle

CLASSIFICATION
Order: Gruiformes
Family: Gruidae
Genus: Anthropoides
Species: virgo

RANGE
Areas through the former Soviet Union, North Africa, Iraq, Southern Asia.

HABITAT
Open country, dry upland fields, wet marshes.

SIZE
Length: 37 inches. Smallest species of crane

LIFE EXPECTANCY
Captivity: 25 – 40 years

REPRODUCTION

  • Breeding in April and May.
  • They build large nests on the ground of dry plant materials.
  • Male and female both participate in nest building
  • Two long, oval-shaped eggs flecked with brown on a brownish base are laid in intervals of 48 hours. Incubation is 30 days with both male and female incubating.
  • Return to same breeding areas from year to year.

DIET
Omnivorous
Wild: Small plants, insects, frogs, worms, reptiles, small fish and eggs of water animals
Zoo: Grain mix, insects

BEHAVIOR
In courtship, cranes go through spectacular dances or displays.

POINTS OF INTEREST
Conspicuous white feather tuft on each side of its head.
Cranes fly with the head and neck straight forward, legs and feet straight out behind.

STATUS
Relatively Common. Are having some problems with habitat destruction.