Sarus Crane, India Sarus Crane, Sarus Crane India, Endangered Sarus Crane, Habitat of Sarus Crane in India, Physical Characteristics of Sarus Crane, Information on the Sarus Crane, Sarus Crane Fact, Sarus Crane in India, Endangered Animals in India

Sarus Crane
[Wild Animals in India]

The Sarus Crane is the only crane species that resides and breeds in India. It is the world's tallest flying bird. There are three subspecies of Sarus Crane known worldwide. This elegant bird called Krouncha in India, is revered as a symbol of marital fidelity and is celebrated in myth and legend.

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Zoological name: Grus antigone

Range: Sarus Cranes are found across wetlands in North and West India and have adapted to human habitation. They are protected by the beliefs of the local people who regard it as a symbol of marital fidelity. Other sub species of Sarus Cranes are found in South East Asia and Australia.

Estimated population. It is estimated that there are about 13,500 and 15,500 Sarus Cranes worldwide, though accurate numbers are uncertain. There are estimated to be 8,000-10,000 Sarus Cranes in India.

Physical characteristics: Sarus Cranes are the tallest flying birds with a height of 6 feet. When flying their wingspan extends to 8 feet. Sarus Cranes are elegant birds with light gray plumage except for the throat and head, which is bare and the skin here is red or orange in color, with a patch of gray feathers over the ear. Young Sarus Cranes have brown plumage, which changes to gray with age. Sarus Cranes have reddish legs and toes.

Habitat: Sarus Cranes prefer wetlands including marshes, ponds, agricultural land and fallow fields. Sarus Cranes in India have adapted to human presence and are often seen in close proximity to villages and settlements, feeding from village ponds and uncultivated fields.

Diet: Sarus Cranes feed on aquatic plants, frogs and other invertebrates and seeds and grain. Their mixed diet makes it possible for them to adapt to varying habitats and survive. They also forage in flooded paddy fields and eat various underground roots and tubers.

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Behavior: Sarus Cranes mate for life and engage in a long and elaborate courtship. The dance of the Sarus is a beautiful sight with both birds calling out to each other, flapping their wings and rising up in the air in a series of graceful movements. Sarus cranes build nests made of grass and reeds on the ground, in which female birds usually lay 2 eggs.

Status: Sarus Cranes are threatened by the loss of the wetland areas in which they traditionally reside. Wetlands have been drained for agriculture and industrial development. Pollution of water due to pesticide use and effluent have led to further habitat destruction constricting the range of the Sarus Crane in India. In areas where traditional beliefs and tolerance of the Sarus Crane is practised, the Sarus Crane populations continue to live relatively undisturbed.

Tourists can see Sarus Cranes in the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary in Rajasthan and in sanctuaries in Uttar Pradesh and Haryana on India Wildlife Tours.

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