Black Crowned Cranes

Black-crowned Cranes

The Black Crowned Crane, also known as West African Crowned Crane (Balearica pavonina pavonina) is a bird in the crane family Gruidae. It was once called also Kaffir Crane

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.

Distribution / Range

It occurs in dry savannah in Africa south of the Sahara, although in nests in somewhat wetter habitats.

It is endangered, especially in the west, by habitat loss and degradation.


There are two races

  • B. p. pavonina in the west, and
  • the more numerous B. p. ceciliae in east Africa.

Diet / Feeding

Like all cranes, the Black Crowned Crane eats insects, reptiles, and small mammals.

Black-crowned Crane with eggs Black-crowned CraneBlack-crowned Crane Black-crowned Crane - Distribution Map Black-crowned Cranes Black-crowned Crane Black-crowned Crane Black-crowned Crane - Head Detail

Species Research by Sibylle Johnson

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