An unusual, distinctive, and beautiful crane. The body is mostly blackish, but there is a pale wing panel, a pale pink-and-white cheek patch, and a bizarre yellow crest. Looks hunched in flight, when white wing panels become distinctive. Found in both wetland habitats and dry fields. Usually in pairs or flocks, which can sometimes be large. Similar to Gray Crowned-Crane, but distinguished by much darker base coloration and more pink on the face; there is little overlap in range. The call is a goose-like honking, often given in flight.
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