East African crowned crane
Southern Coastal Africa
Crowned cranes also eat small mammals.
The East African crowned crane is a tall, majestic-looking bird that sports a sort of crown of tall, stiff, golden feathers. The crane's long legs and neck and excellent peripheral vision help it spot predators in the tall savanna grasses of eastern sub-Saharan Africa and South Africa.
Crowned cranes are famous for their courtship, especially the mating dance between the male and female. The dance consists of bobbing, flapping wings, and swinging circles around each other. Crowned cranes are usually found in pairs but have been seen alone and in small flocks of 3 to 20 individuals. There have even been a few groups of 51 to 150 birds seen! A successful pair of mated crowned cranes keeps its family group together for almost a year. After that, the young birds often form their own flock and spend much of their time feeding in fields.
Many people believe that these cranes are able to bring rain with them, so they add pictures of cranes or their movements into their own rituals to bring about the rainy season. The crowned crane is the national bird of Uganda.
On a limb
Crowned cranes are the only cranes that roost in trees!
Crane chicks start to learn their “language” as soon as they hatch and know at least 6 calls by the end of their first year.