The Black Crowned Crane (Balearica pavonina) is one of the smallest cranes out of the 15 species, and is the only crane species known to roost up in trees.
Habitat: The Black Crowned Crane is found in Western Africa, Senegal, Gambia and Ethiopia. They inhabit marshlands, grasslands and swamps.
Lifespan: They have an average lifespan of 30 years in captivity. In the wild it would be slightly less.
Diet: They are omnivores and, due to their short beaks, their diet consists of seeds and insects.
Behaviour: The Black Crowned Crane’s breeding display involves dancing, bowing and jumping. They use vocal calls for breeding that are usually loud bugle-like calls. These cranes do not pair for life, but they will both raise the young together. The female will lay 2 – 4 eggs in nests of vegetation located on the ground or in shallow waters. The eggs are incubated for between 29 – 31 days. Shortly after hatching, the chicks will forage with the parents.
They dance for fun - and for the young to develop physical and social skills!