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Grus Grus

Common Crane

©Arie de Knijf



The Common Crane is a large bird with a length of 100–130 cm and a wingspan of a 180–240 cm. The body weight can range from 3-6.1 kg. Adults display a black-and-white head with a small red crown patch. Its piercing trumpet calls during flight and display can be heard from a considerable distance away.

Habitat & Distribution

Common cranes migrate long distances, wintering in northern Africa, southern Europe and Asia. They breed in boreal and taiga forests near the water. Europe's population: 309,000 to 423,000 mature individuals in Greece, Romania, Denmark, Germany, France, Belgium, and non-breeding populations in Portugal.



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Habitat loss, dam construction, urbanization, and agricultural expansion pose threats to this species. Nest disturbance lowers breeding success. Collisions with power lines are frequent along migration routes and in winter ranges - being the leading cause of adult mortality at wintering areas in Spain.

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