• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Grey Crowned Crane - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by rudydbn
Stanger, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, July 2006
Balearica regulorum


Length 100–110 cm (39½-43½ in), 3-4 kg
Within its range, unmistakable with its large gold crown; in flight shows white wing coverts, black primaries and chestnut secondaries.

Similar Species

Photo © by Steve G
Mount Kenya, Kenya, August, 2010

The Black Crowned Crane is much darker and found further north; distribution does not overlap.


Photo © by volker sthamer
Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania, 7 September 2019

Western Africa: found only in Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola
Eastern Africa: Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Zambia and Mozambique, Malawi
Southern Africa: Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal

They have also been introduced to North America



There are 2 subspecies[1]:

  • B. r. gibbericeps:
  • B. r. regulorum:


Breed in wetlands with tall vegetation. Forages in grasslands, cultivated lands and pastures.


Forms flocks (usually less than 20 birds, exceptionally up to 300) when not breeding.


Eats leaves and seeds of grasses, invertebrates and small vertebrates.


Call: a low-pitched honk.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Lepage D. (2020) [Avibase - https://avibase.ca/D10CAC5D]. Retrieved 28 November 2020
  3. Archibald, G.W., C.D. Meine, and E. F. J. Garcia (2020). Gray Crowned-Crane (Balearica regulorum), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (J. del Hoyo, A. Elliott, J. Sargatal, D. A. Christie, and E. de Juana, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.grccra1.01

Recommended Citation

External Links

Search the Gallery using the scientific name:

Search the Gallery using the commoon name:

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.