Common crane pair displaying

Common crane

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

Rank: Species

Common names:

Eurasian crane

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Map showing the distribution of the Common crane taxa

Species range provided by WWF's Wildfinder.

The Common crane can be found in a number of locations including: Africa, Asia, China, Europe, Indian subcontinent, Mediterranean, Russia, United Kingdom. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


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.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Conservation Status

Least Concern

  1. EX - Extinct
  2. EW
  3. CR - Threatened
  4. EN - Threatened
  5. VU - Threatened
  6. NT
  7. LC - Least concern

Year assessed: 2009

Classified by: IUCN 3.1


BBC News about Common crane

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