Zoological name: There are fourteen species of cranes. Common
crane (Grus grus), sandhill crane (G. canadensis), Siberian white
crane (G. leucogeranus), Japanese crane (G. japonensis), whooping
crane (G. americana), sarus crane (G. antigone), white necked
crane (G. vipio), black necked crane (G. nigricollis) and demoiselle
crane (Anthropoides virgo) are some examples of cranes.
Distribution: Cranes are found throughout the globe except South America, New Zealand and some other parts of the world. Most of the cranes in the genus Grus, however, are found in Asia. The Siberian and whooping cranes are the most endangered crane species in the world.
Habitat: They occupy in the habitats of marsh lands, wet plains and prairies. Cranes are sometimes seen in sandy flats and seashores. The common crane, for example, inhabits in very wet area with occasionally in or near wooded country.
Physical features: Cranes may attain a size of 5 feet tall. They are characterized in having long legs, long necks, short and wide tails, long and wide wings, and long bills. The front toes are connected by a membrane at the base and the small hind toe is considerably elevated. They have slaty grey, brown or white plumages. The adults may have a partly bare head. The most salient anatomical feature of the crane is its wind pipe or trachea. The strongly convoluted wind pipe looks like the coils of a trumpet and it pierces through the breast bone and the flying muscles of some cranes. The wind pipe is responsible for utter a loud and penetrating call especially in male. The common crane is a widely known species. The body colour is lead grey with blackish head and neck in most cases. Eyes are red. There is a red patch on the crown.