Black crowned crane

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Black crowned crane
Balearica pavonina, Waza NP.jpg
Black crowned cranes at Waza National Park, Cameroon
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Gruiformes
Family: Gruidae
Genus: Balearica
B. pavonina
Binomial name
Balearica pavonina

Ardea pavonina Linnaeus, 1758

The black crowned crane (Balearica pavonina), also known as the black crested crane, is a bird in the crane family Gruidae.

It occurs in dry savannah in Africa south of the Sahara, although in nests in somewhat wetter habitats. There are two subspecies: B. p. pavonina in the west and the more numerous B. p. ceciliae in east Africa.

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 the relatively small Balearica cranes are believed to closely resemble the ancestral members of the Gruidae. It is about 1 m (3.3 ft) long, has a 1.87 m (6.2 ft) wingspan and weighs about 3.6 kg (8 lbs).

Like all cranes, the black crowned crane eats insects, reptiles, and small mammals. It is endangered, especially in the west, by habitat loss and degradation.

It is the national bird of Nigeria, one of their habitats.


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Balearica pavonina". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2013.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)


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