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Gruiformes > Gruidae

Gray Crowned-Crane

Balearica regulorum

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Identification

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A spectacular, mostly blue-gray crane with a black-and-white face and a crown of golden-yellow plumes. Immatures are rustier than adults. Singles, pairs, and flocks prefer wetlands, flooded grasslands, and man-made water bodies, but they can range widely through other open habitats when foraging. Resident but may be locally nomadic in response to rain. Groups can often be detected by their low plaintive bugling “maaah-hem” call. The similar Black Crowned-Crane differs in having slaty-gray coloration, smaller red facial wattles, and red-and-white (rather than white) cheek patches.

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Gray Crowned-Crane

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