Sarus Crane

Sarus Crane

(Grus antingone)

(pair calling at Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur)

Size(160-180cm): Widely regarded as the tallest flying bird in the world.

Area: The Sarus is more common in Northern and Central India than th Southern and Eastern.

(Pair calling)

Habitat: It generally prefers watered fields, marshes, ponds and lakes.

My two words: Sarus crane has a grey plumage with a bare red neck and head. The juvenile is brown where he adults are red. They have a narrow region of black behind their necks.

Their common foraging sites are marshes and wetlands. They are considered as the symbols of marital fidelity. If one of the bird dies, then the other is believed to starve to death.

Usually in pairs or small parties.

IMG_2620

(Small party of Sarus near Aligarh. 4 adults with a sub-adult on the extreme left)

They breed during the monsoons. The nest is a circular island of grass and mud. Eggs are white and usually 2-3 in number. They hatch within 25-35 days of incubation.

The number of Sarus Cranes in India have decreased over the years and I fear that what happened to the Siberian Crane does not happen to our lovely Sarus (Siberian Cranes are now extinct in India. The last recording of Siberian Crane was in 2002 at Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur).

~Arjun Basandrai

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