Black Crowned Crane
(Balearica Pavonina)

Appearance - The Black Crowned Crane is similar but darker than the Grey Crowned Crane. It has a mainly dark-grey or blackish body, blackish primary flight feathers, bright-chestnut secondary and tertial feathers, white wing coverts, elongated dark-grey neck feathers, a large distinctive crown of stiff golden feathers, black head, large bare cheek patches which are white above and reddish below, and red inflatable throat poach. The beak is grey and legs are blackish. Both sexes are alike but male is usually slightly larger.

Notes - The Black Crowned Crane is closely related to the Grey Crowned Crane. Both of these species are the only Cranes to nest in trees. The Black Crowned Crane has two sub-species: Balearica Pavonina Pavonina which is found in west Africa, and Balearica Pavonina Ceciliae which is found in east Africa and is more common. In the breeding season it dances by bowing and leaping into the air, making a booming noise, and inflating its red inflatable throat poach (gular sac).

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Black Crowned Crane (Balearica Pavonina)