Sarus Crane


Lifespan: 15-20 years in the wild and up to 40 years in captivity

Wild Diet: Aquatic insects, frogs and sometimes water snakes.

Zoo Diet: Bird of prey diet and grain

Predators: Since they are such a large bird, the adults have few predators. The eggs and young may be preyed upon by jackals and birds of prey.


IUCN Status: Vulnerable

Habitat/Range: It inhabits wet and dry grasslands, agricultural fields, marshes and pools, either open or enclosed by forest. It prefers a mixture of flooded, partially flooded and dry ground for foraging, roosting and nesting. In the Indian subcontinent, populations make seasonal movements in response to monsoons and droughts. Cambodian breeding populations spend the non-breeding season in the Mekong delta region of Vietnam.

Characteristics: The tallest of the cranes and can be 6 feet tall. The head is red and orange. The body is covered by grayish white feathers. Legs are also red.

Behavior: Usually seen in groups of 2-5. They spend most of their time walking through the shallow water foraging for food. Unlike most cranes, they do not migrate.

Reproduction: Elaborate dancing and calling are part of their mating ritual. Both the male and female help in building the nest and incubating the eggs. 2-3 eggs in nests on the ground.

Conservation: Numbers are decreasing due to the loss and degradation of wetlands. Further surveys of sites in Cambodia. Laos and Vietnam are being conducted to find prime nesting grounds and wetland. There would then be controlled pesticide use around those sites.