Demoiselle Crane Profile Picture

Demoiselle Cranes
Anthropoides virgo

My smallest cousins were given their "common" name by royalty. Marie Antoinette named them Demoiselles, which means maiden or lady in French. She was undoubtedly enchanted by their feminine grace. That's sort of funny, because she may have actually been charmed by a male Demoiselle. Even their Grus cousins have to admit it's VERY hard to tell them apart. They all look so dainty and sweet! They get to be about 3 feet tall and weigh 4-7 pounds.

I Admit it I've Got a Little Crush

Demoiselle CraneDemoiselle Crane

Marie Antoinette is not the only one who has been charmed by my sweet coz. They are the second most abundant crane in the world and live in over 47 countries, mostly in Asia (map of their range). The Demoiselles are one of two species in the Anthropoides clan (genus) of cranes. They are distinct from the rest of us in the Crane family because they have better hair (er feathers). They lack the distinguished bald spots that characterize the rest of us in the family. In fact, the Demoiselles actually have lovely tufts of white feathers behind their eye that drape their neck.

Demoiselle Romance Is Charming

Two Demoiselle Cranes by the Water Two Demoiselle Cranes

Like all of us in the Crane family, the Demoiselles dance and sing. Their elaborately syncopated, musical displays are very popular with humans. They mate for life, and their dances are believed to strengthen the bond between them. The female usually initiates these displays—so maybe Marie Antoinette got the name right!

More Interesting Demoiselle Statistics

Demoiselle Crane A Demoiselle Crane Raised by Humans

  • Estimated Global Population 200,000-240,000 (not considered threatened—hooray!)
  • Migrate in flocks of thousands from breeding grounds in Asia & Eastern Europe to wintering grounds in India & North Africa
  • Incubation of eggs (usually two) by both sexes is usually 27-29 days
  • Chicks fly for the first time at 55-65 days—they're the quickest learners of the crane family!

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