Common cranes are the most widely distributed of all the cranes, breeding from Western Europe to Siberia. Monogamous pairs reinforce their bond with a series of calls and elaborate head jerks. Together the pair builds a ground nest within their wetland habitat from a mound of swampy vegetation. The job of incubating their two eggs is also shared, and during this time adults embark on the fascinating behaviour of ‘painting’ their upper bodies and wings with reddish mud, which is though to provide camouflage.
Scientific name: Grus grus
Species range provided by WWF's Wildfinder.
The following habitats are found across the Common crane distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.
Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.
Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web
Year assessed: 2009
Classified by: IUCN 3.1
Take a trip through the natural world with our themed collections of video clips from the natural history archive.
With Ooh's and Ahh's galore this video clip collection celebrates a world of adorable animal babies.