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White-naped Crane - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by Daniel Smith
Arasaki Crane Reserve, Kagoshima, Japan, 22 January 2009
Antigone vipio

Grus vipio


120–153 cm (47¼-60¼ in); 4750–6500 g; wingspan 160–210 cm (63-82½ in).

1st Winter
Photo © by edenwatcher
Arasaki, Kyushu, Japan, February 2008
  • Dark grey body
  • Grey and white striped neck
  • Red face patch
  • Pinkish legs

Juvenile is similar to adult but striping on the neck not as distinct as the adults and red facial skin much duller.


Breeds in north-eastern Mongolia, north-eastern China, and adjacent areas of south-eastern Russia. Different groups of the birds migrate to winter near the Yangtze River, the DMZ in Korea and on Kyushu in Japan. They also reach Kazakhstan and Taiwan. Numbers are low with around 5500–6500 remaining in the wild. A program at Khinganski Nature Reserve raises eggs brought from U.S. zoos to help boost the species numbers.


Courtship display
Photo © by Ayuwat J
Arasaki, Izumi, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan, 29 December 2008

A monotypic species[1].
Formerly placed in the genus Grus.


Breeding areas are in wet meadows and along lake-sides, in river valleys or lowland steppes.

Migrating and wintering birds use rice paddiefields, mudlflats and agricultural grain fields.



Nests are mounds of dried sedges and grasses in open wetlands. Two eggs are laid and are incubated by both sexes for 28-32 days. Chicks fledge at 70-75 days.


The diet includes insects, small vertebrates, seeds, roots and tubers, wetland plants, and waste grains.


High-pitched, penetrating calls as well as growling contact calls given at short range.


Birds in eastern portion of range migrate through Korea and winter in southern Japan.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Animal Pictures Archive
  3. International Crane Foundation
  4. Archibald, G.W., Meine, C.D. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2019). White-naped Crane (Antigone vipio). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from https://www.hbw.com/node/53559 on 27 April 2019).
  5. BirdLife International 2018. Antigone vipio. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T22692073A131927305. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-2.RLTS.T22692073A131927305.en. Downloaded on 26 April 2019.

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