Cranes (Family: Gruidae)

These tall birds are charismatic and super interesting. We celebrate them for their graceful beauty and exuberant courtship dances.

March 26, 2023

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Cranes (Family: Gruidae)


This episode is all about birds in the avian family Gruidae… the cranes.

These tall birds are charismatic and super interesting. It’s going to be fun to do a deep dive into all things crane today.

Humans around the world have celebrated cranes for thousands of years, for their graceful beauty and their exuberant courtship dances.

Across many cultures, cranes have inspired paintings, songs, dances, legends, martial arts, heavy construction machinery apparently, and the most iconic animal design in the fine art of origami.

It’s spring in the Northern Hemisphere right now, and that means that in many parts of the world, cranes are on the move. They’re migrating north. Along the way, they stop to rest and refuel at certain staging areas. Hundreds or thousands of cranes can end up at a single staging area or stopover and this can be a wonderful sight to see for birders and other nature lovers.

There are a bunch of crane festivals around this time every year. It’s a rare thing for any kind of bird to get so much attention and adoration like this. Cranes are just that special.

So how about we have our own little crane festival today. Let’s get to know these amazing birds.

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Links of Interest

Research Citations


Red-crowned Cranes (Grus japonensis). Photo by ondrejprosicky/Adobe
Sandhill Cranes (Antigone canadensis). Photo by Kenneth Keifer/Adobe
Gray Crowned-Crane (Balaerica regulorum). Photo by Tibor Dihen/Adobe
Whoopnig Crane (Grus americana). Photo by David McGowen/Adobe
Blue Crane (Anthropoides paradiseus). Photo by Bruce/Adobe
Sarus Crane (Antigone antigone). Photo by wildarun/Adobe
Demoiselle Crane (Anthropoides virgo). Photo by Konstantin/Adobe

This work by Ivan Phillipsen is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

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