Red Crowned Crane Grus japonensis


Their Scientific Name Is a Bit Misleading

Sand Hill Cranes Flying in New Mexico Sand Hill Cranes Flying in New Mexico

Although they are named japonensis and are the national bird of Japan (where they are called the tancho), they also are found in Korea and China (map of their range). Red-crowned cranes are important in Japanese and Chinese art and folklore, where they represent longevity and fidelity.

Unfortunately, the longevity is symbolic only. In the real world, they are the second most endangered cranes.

More Red-Crowned Crane Information

Red Crowned Crane Red-Crowned Crane

  • Population 1,700-2,000. Classified as endangered.
  • Threats include the destruction of their wetland breeding grounds, poisoning, and collisions with power lines.
  • The red "crown" is actually bare skin, which becomes brighter when they are angry or excited
  • The most aquatic of the Grus family; nests built on wet ground or in shallow water
  • Prefer to roost in rivers or streams

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