Black crowned crane

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For other uses, see Crowned crane.
Black crowned crane
Artis black crowned crane1.jpg
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Gruiformes
Family: Gruidae
Genus: Balearica
Species: B. pavonina
Binomial name
Balearica pavonina
(Linnaeus, 1758)

The black crowned crane (Balearica pavonina) is a bird in the crane family Gruidae.

It occurs in dry savannah in Africa south of the Sahara, although in nests in somewhat wetter habitats. There are two subspecies: B. p. pavonina in the west and the more numerous B. p. ceciliae in east Africa.

This species and the closely related grey crowned crane, B. regulorum, which prefers wetter habitats for foraging, are the only cranes that can nest in trees. This habit, amongst other things, is a reason why the relatively small Balearica cranes are believed to closely resemble the ancestral members of the Gruidae. It is about 1 m (3.3 ft) long, has a 1.87 m (6.2 ft) wingspan and weighs about 3.6 kg (8 lbs).

Like all cranes, the black crowned crane eats insects, reptiles, and small mammals. It is endangered, especially in the west, by habitat loss and degradation.

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