Fun Blue Crane Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Blue Crane Facts For Kids

Arts & Crafts
Learn more
Reading & Writing
Learn more
Math & Logic
Learn more
Sports & Active
Learn more
Music & Dance
Learn more
Social & Community
Learn more
Mindful & Reflective
Learn more
Outdoor & Nature
Learn more
Read these Tokyo facts to learn all about the Japanese capital.

Have you heard about a crane blue in color whose feathers almost touch the ground? This article will tell you all about this bird!

The blue crane (Grus paradisea), also known as the Stanley crane, belongs to the Gruidae family. Its scientific name is Anthropoides paradiseus, which roughly translates to paradise crane. This bird is also listed as the national bird of South Africa. Blue cranes have great cultural importance in South Africa which is why it was declared as the national bird.

The name Anthropoides paradiseus was first described by Anton August Heinrich Lichtenstein, a German zoologist in 1793. The blue crane distribution as of now occurs only in southern Africa. A small group or separate population of blue cranes can be found in the Etosha Pan of northern Namibia, regions of the Western Cape province, the Northern Cape province, and some regions of the Eastern Cape province.

Learn more about other birds by reading our articles about the hummingbird and night heron.

Fun Blue Crane Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Frogs, fish, and locusts

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

7.9- 13.6 lb (3.6-6.2 kg)

How long are they?


How tall are they?

5.9-6.5 ft  (1.8-2 m)

What do they look like?

Bluish-gray and dark feathers

Skin Type


What were their main threats?

African Wild Dogs And Drying Wetlands

What is their conservation status?


Where you'll find them?

Grasslands, Semi-deserts, And Agricultural Areas


Southern Africa









Blue Crane Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a blue crane?

The blue crane is a bird belonging to the Animalia kingdom.

What class of animal does a blue crane belong to?

The blue crane belongs to the bird or Aves class.

How many blue cranes are there in the world?

The population of blue cranes is only about 25,000 in the world.

Where does a blue crane live?

The blue crane range encompasses the southern and eastern parts of South Africa. A small group or a separate population of these birds can be found at the Etosha Pan of northern Namibia.

What is a blue crane's habitat?

The blue crane's habitat includes pastures, wetlands, semi-deserts, grasslands, and agricultural fields.

Who do blue cranes live with?

Blue cranes live in small family groups or pairs of two.

How long does a blue crane live?

They have an amazing lifespan and can live up to 30 years! One of the longest living bird species, the kakapo, can live for 40-80 years and has a maximum living span of 125 years.

How do they reproduce?

Blue cranes are very social but are territorial during the breeding season. They drive away other cranes lurking near their breeding territory. Blue cranes are monogamous which means they only pair with one mate and isolate themselves for the entire breeding season. The birds of this particular species reach sexual maturity when they are three to five years old. The nesting period generally begins during summer. They nest in their natural habitats like wetlands, open grasslands, or man-made agricultural areas. Followed by the laying period which takes place between August to April, they usually lay two eggs. Both the males and females incubate the eggs for approximately 30 days. Their eggs are beige, covered in brown spots, and are oval. During the new breeding season, blue cranes prefer returning to the same nest. A parent blue crane is very protective of their young chicks and guards them aggressively against potential threats.

Blue cranes also have a group of non-breeding birds. These birds during the breeding season form a flock of non-breeding members among the species. They are later joined by juvenile chicks to form an even larger group during winters.

What is their conservation status?

The IUNC Red List of Threatened Species has classified blue cranes as Vulnerable to potential extinction. The current population size of blue cranes is approximately 25,000. Their population rapidly began to decrease from 1980 as the birds were poisoned after ingesting crops, grains, and small animals affected by the chemicals used by local farmers to protect their produce from insects and rodents. African wild dogs are predators to blue cranes which puts them on the list of threats faced by this species.

Over the past two decades, their numbers have significantly decreased and have almost completely disappeared from the Eastern Cape, Swaziland, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, and North West Province. The majority of the remaining species are found only in the southern and eastern parts of South Africa.

The government of South Africa has taken various initiatives and measures to conserve its population and has strengthened its policies regarding the legal protection of the blue crane. These initiatives resulted in a positive outcome and the population of these birds has increased in the central Karoo grasslands!

Blue Crane Fun Facts

What do blue cranes look like?

Blue cranes are elegant, tall, ground-dwelling birds that are uniform pale bluish-gray except their crown or head which is white. Their physical characteristics include thin legs, beautiful and long wing feathers that trail behind them, and their beaks are gray with a pink tinge. Their heads are relatively larger than most crane species. Chicks are slate gray or black, whereas juveniles are slightly lighter and have blue-grey feathers.

Fun facts about the blue crane for kids

How cute are they?

Blue cranes are more beautiful and elegant than cute. They have an amazing wingspan and look magnificent while flying. Their eyes, however, are jet-black and mesmerizing.

How do they communicate?

Blue cranes communicate via sounds. They produce loud high-pitched sounds or calls to communicate with each other while in a flock. The sounds of the flock can be heard up to 2.5 mi (4 km) away. During the breeding season, the males and females have to communicate who they have chosen or selected to mate with and they do so by engaging in a dance or by jumping together in their territories.

The young chicks make soft peeping sounds for a year at least. After 14 months, they slowly start making the same loud rattling buldge calls.

How big is a blue crane?

A blue crane is  5.9-6.5 ft  (1.8-2 m) tall. This bird is five times the size of a dove!

How fast can a blue crane fly?

A blue crane can fly up to 37-43 mph (59.5-69.3 kph).

How much does a blue crane weigh?

The blue crane weighs 7.9- 13.6 lb (3.6-6.2 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

This species do not have specific terms for their male and female birds. Therefore, they are denoted as males and females.

What would you call a baby blue crane?

The babies of blue cranes are called chicks.

What do they eat?

Blue cranes are primarily considered to be herbivores as most of their diet is vegetarian. However, they also consume frogs, insects, and other small animals so they are classified as omnivores. The blue crane diet includes crabs, small lizards, grasshoppers, locusts, worms, fish, cereal grains, maize, and wheat. During the breeding season, their diet includes protein-rich food which is broken down to feed the chicks.

Are they dangerous?

Approaching blue cranes or their nest carelessly, especially during the breeding season, can be dangerous because these birds are very protective of their young ones and defend them aggressively. These blue cranes can attack you if they feel threatened or see you as a threat towards the chicks. Apart from this, they do not harm humans.

Would they make a good pet?

You cannot keep them as pets. It is an illegal and punishable offense.

Did you know...

South Africa's five-cent coin featured the bird until 2012.

It was named the national bird of South Africa due to its cultural significance to the Xhosa people.

In ancient Greece, people believed that the flight of cranes inspired the invention of the Greek alphabet by the god Hermes.

What is interesting about the blue crane?

They have long legs but short toes which makes it possible for them to run at high speeds. They also use their feet to search for insects hiding in grass or mud.

Are blue cranes dangerous?

Blue cranes are a little dangerous. They will attack you if you carelessly approach their nests or threaten the chicks.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our black-capped gnatcatcher facts and kingfisher facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Blue crane coloring pages.

Written By
Kidadl Team

Read The Disclaimer

Was this article helpful?