Geographical Range Southern Asia, Philippines, northern Australia
Habitat Marshes, flooded fields, swamps
Scientific Name Grus antigone
Conservation Status Threatened

Small families or pairs of sarus cranes live in open landscapes, often in marshy areas or along shores of lakes and ponds. These birds aren't picky eaters: they feed on marsh plants, numerous types of aquatic insects, frogs, and even water snakes.

Elaborate dancing and loud simultaneous calling between the males and females are parts of the courtship rituals of this species. Breeding season takes place during monsoon season. Both male and female cranes cooperate in building the nest, incubating the eggs, and raising the young.

Because of their large size, sarus cranes do not have many natural predators. But eggs left unprotected in the nests are easy pickings for jackals and birds of prey.

A bigger problem facing the sarus crane stems from human activities. This species has suffered a rapid population decline because of widespread destruction and pollution of its wetland habitats. Since this situation is expected to continue, experts now designate the sarus crane as threatened.

Did You Know?

Sarus cranes are the largest of all of the crane species.