Scientific Name: Antigone antigone
Name: sarus crane
a Huge, mainly pale grey crane with reddish legs and very large bill. adult is grey. with bare red head and upper neck and bare ashy-green crown. n flight, black primaries contrast with rest of wing. Immature has rusty-buff feathering to head and neck, and upperparts are marked with brown: older immatures are similar to adult but have dull red head and upper neck and lack greenish crown of adult. G. a. sharpii, which occurs in NE subcontinen, is darker grey than naminate, with uniform grey neck(whiter on lower neck in nominate). with elongated tertials concolorous with rest of upperparts.
Size in cm:
Size in Inch
red (Bird may have more colors)
insects (especially grasshoppers), aquatic plants, fish, frogs, crustaceans and seeds.
Habit and habited:
Cultivation in well-watered country; also marshes, lakes and large rivers. Globally threatened.
A very loud trumpeting, usually a duet by pairs at rest or in flight
The sarus crane (Antigone antigone) is a large non-migratory crane found in parts of the Indian Subcontinent, Southeast Asia and Australia. The tallest of the flying birds, standing at a height of up to 1.8 m (5 ft 11 in), they are a conspicuous species of open wetlands in south Asia, seasonally-flooded Dipterocarp forests in south-east Asia, and Eucalyptus-dominated woodlands and grasslands in Australia.
The sarus crane is easily distinguished from other cranes in the region by the overall grey colour and the contrasting red head and upper neck. They forage on marshes and shallow wetlands for roots, tubers, insects, crustaceans and small vertebrate prey. Like other cranes, they form long-lasting pair-bonds and maintain territories within which they perform territorial and courtship displays that include loud trumpeting, leaps and dance-like movements. In India, they are considered symbols of marital fidelity, believed to mate for life and pine the loss of their mates even to the point of starving to death.
The main breeding season is during the rainy season, when the pair builds an enormous nest "island", a circular platform of reeds and grasses nearly two metres in diameter and high enough to stay above the shallow water surrounding it. Increased multi-season agriculture is often thought to have led to declines in Sarus crane numbers. However, more careful assessments show sarus crane numbers to have increased due to expansion of wet crops following the Green Revolution and the associated increases in artificial watering structures such as canals and reservoirs. The stronghold of the species is in India, where it is traditionally revered and lives in agricultural lands in close proximity to humans. Elsewhere, the species has been extirpated in many parts of its former range.