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Black-necked Crane - BirdForum Opus

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Photo by Rajiv Lather
Bhutan, January 2008
Grus nigricollis



  • Bare red crown and lores scantly covered by black hairlike feathers
  • Black head and upper part of the neck
  • Small white or light grey spot near each eye
  • Ashy grey body
  • Whitish underparts
  • Black tail
Photo by Paux
Yunnan, China, January 2015
  • Greyish upper tail coverts
  • Black primaries and secondaries
  • Yellow eyes
  • Black legs and toes

Sexes similar although males slightly larger.
Juveniles - yellow brown crown, grey abdomen, black primaries and secondaries, greyish yellow back, black and white barring on neck. By one year of age the bird resembles the adult.


Breeds Tibetan plateau; winters to north-eastern India and southern China.


This is a monotypic species[1].


They breed in high altitude wetlands, shallow marshes, streams, and pastures. They winter in lower elevation agricultural valleys.


Photo by alibenn
Lashi Lake, Yunnan, China, December 2005


The diet incudes plant roots and tubers, insects, snails, shrimp, fish, frogs, lizards, voles, and waste grains.


Nests are built from mud, grass, sedges, and other aquatic plants, and are placed on small grassy islands or in the water. Two eggs are laid and are incubated by both parents for 30-33 days. The young fledge at approximately 90 days.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2014. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.9., with updates to August 2014. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Saving Cranes.org

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