Wattled Crane

Bugeranus carunculatus
The wattled crane can stand nearly 6 feet tall, and is one of the tallest of the 15 species of cranes.
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Wattled Crane

One of the largest of the cranes, the Wattled crane is pale grey with a long white neck, black cap, bare red facial skin and white feathered pendant wattles on the throat. Elongated inner secondary wing feathers look like a long tail. The Wattled crane is a threatened species, with only several thousand pairs left. Its main habitat is extensive open wetlands and open grasslands. It will form flocks, often preferring to join other birds and grazing mammals, and is nomadic in response to flood and drought cycles. When feeding it often places its head and neck in the water. It eats sedge tubers, rhizomes, seeds, insects, and frogs. In courtship, both sexes give a shrill call in unison, coiling the neck over the back and extending the head and bill upward. The courtship dance entails high jumps in the air, bowing, tossing grass into the air, and calling in unison. They build an enormous grass nest low in marsh areas.

White Oak is a member of C2S2 and collaborates with the Crane SSP and partners at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and the Wilds.

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