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.
Size: - Typical Adult is about 102cm (40in).
Food: - Grass seeds, insects, and invertebrates.
Habitat/Range: - Wetlands, grasslands, freshwater marshes, rivers, lakes, and dry savannah in Africa, south of the Sahara. Balearica Pavonina Pavonina is found in the west of Africa (from Senegal, The Gambia, Mali, Burkina Faso to Chad), and Balearica Pavonina Ceciliae is found in the east of Africa (Chad, Sudan, Ethiopia, north Kenya & Eritrea).
Breeding Season: - July to October depending on when the rainy season starts.
Eggs: - 2-3 pale-blue eggs.
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).
Conservation status (IUCN 3.1):
Classification: - Family: Gruidae,