Fun Siberian Crane Facts For Kids

Ritwik Bhuyan
Oct 20, 2022 By Ritwik Bhuyan
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Fact-checked by Deeti Gupta
Siberian crane facts that they fly more than 3000 km every year.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.7 Min

The Siberian crane, Grus leucogeranus, is one of the most uncommon cranes living in this world today. These birds are also known as the Siberian white cranes or the snow crane. The Siberian white crane is also the most threatened crane in the world, due to its habitat loss. The Siberian cranes are the rarest crane species of this family. This endangered species is also the crane species that completes the longest distance for migration every year. The Siberian white crane is also the other most aquatic species among all cranes. Having the scientific name Grus leucogeranus, the Siberian crane is also the only crane in the species that has a powerful and long-distance flight in them and uses thermal soaring to fly as often as possible. These birds are also known by another scientific name of the Siberian crane, Leucogeranus leucogeranus. The Western and Central population of the Siberian white crane has a Critically Endangered status, but the Eastern population is quite stable according to the International Crane Foundation. The oldest living bird of this endangered species died at the age of 83 and was named Wolf. This male crane was also inducted into the Guinness Book of World Records. The International Crane Foundation is doing its best to save this endangered species from going into extinction, but the condition of the populations is just going down over the years. The conservation process has been going on for years, but the population of this species of birds, especially in the Western and Central areas is deteriorating. The Siberian cranes are basically divided into three groups. One group of the species, the eastern group, migrates from eastern Siberia to China, the second group of the central group of the population migrates from western Siberia to India, and the last western group migrates from western Russia to Iran. Another piece of information to know about this critically endangered species of birds is that they are very territorial and can get aggressive if threatened.

If you are intrigued, keep reading! The crane and red-crowned crane are also very interesting so check them out.

Siberian Crane Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Siberian crane?

The Siberian cranes are a type of migratory bird.

What class of animal does a Siberian crane belong to?

The Siberian cranes hail from the class of Aves in the family of Gruidae of the cranes.

How many Siberian cranes are there in the world?

As the population of these cranes is on a decrease for a few years now, the Siberian white crane is estimated to be about 3500-4000 currently. About 95% of the Siberian cranes are concentrated in the eastern population. The population of the birds was counted as 3750 in 2008 in Poyang lake in China, one of the breeding grounds of the Siberian cranes.

Where does a Siberian crane live?

As mentioned earlier, Siberian cranes have three distinct populations: western, eastern, and central. The eastern population breeds in northeastern Siberia and these cranes migrate to China to the Yangtze river for winter. The central population of this crane breeds in western Siberia and migrates in winter to Rajasthan in India. They mostly travel to Keoladeo National park in Rajasthan. The populations in the western region breed in northwest Russia in their natural habit and continue their migration in the southeast coast of the Caspian sea in Iran. Northeastern Siberia and China have the highest number of these cranes in the world. Poyang lake in China has recorded the highest population to date. Every year, during the breeding season, a large group of these birds is found in the Poyang lake.

What is a Siberian crane's habitat?

Siberian cranes prefer to live in wetlands which include bogs, marshes, and widely open wetland depressions in lowland tundra. They are a highly aquatic bird population and are also found in the areas where tundra and taiga are joining.

These birds make their stopovers in isolated wetlands during the migration period. They live in wintering grounds of shallows and mudflats in seasonal lakes of the Yangtze River. They can also be found in flooded ricefields and dams in Iran and India.

Who do Siberian cranes live with?

These cranes stay with small flocks of their own kind, usually in a group of 12-15 cranes. During the breeding season, they scatter themselves and remain territorial all throughout.

How long does a Siberian crane live?

The average lifespan of a Siberian crane is 15-30 years.

How do they reproduce?

The males and females of this species are monogamous. The courtship includes unison calls including singing and dancing. Unison calling is a complex series of coordinated calls. Males of the species create these calls by drawing their neck and head into an S shape. The neck is raised vertically during calls and lowered between them.

During the spring breeding season, the female birds lay an average of two eggs every season. They nest in wetlands in the natural habitat and the nests are made of grass and twigs. The wetlands need to be isolated. Both males and females incubate the eggs. The incubation of these eggs usually takes around 29 days. Both eggs hatch after that and the male and females take care of the chicks for the next few days. After 70-75 days, these young chicks fledge. Most of the time, only one chick survives after hatching. Breeding occurs from May to August between the Siberian cranes.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of these species is found to be critical. They are a Critically Endangered species at the moment. They are threatened by habitat loss and degradation in wintering areas, stopover places, and breeding areas. Drainage of the wetland areas and human industrial developments are also considered threats for this species. Hunting is also a big threat for this bird. The International Crane Foundation is trying to raise awareness among the masses for the conservation of these species. Also, the captivity of birds is prevalent in many places of the world. These foundations are trying to revive the wetland areas which are the main living regions of the Siberian cranes.

Siberian Crane Fun Facts

What do Siberian cranes look like?

The adult male and female have a white plumage overall, with the exception of black primaries. These black primaries are only visible in flight or during displays by the birds. The head, forecrown, forehead, face, and side of the head has a featherless cap that is brick red in color. The young juveniles are yellowing to cinnamon in color and do not have the red crown in the head. Instead, they have feathers in those areas. The juveniles come of age at around three years and start acquiring that white plumage of their own. They are born with blue eyes, which start changing after around six months. The adults have pale yellow or red eye colors. The legs and toes are of reddish-pink color. The male and female are similar in color, except the males are a little bigger and the females have a shorter bill. The bill is black and reddish in color. They have a serrated bill that helps them in catching slippery prey and feed on underground roots and tubers.

Siberian cranes have a reddish-pink bill.

How cute are they?

This species is a magnificent creature and are majestic in their form.

How do they communicate?

Visual and vocal displays are common while communicating with each other for the Siberian cranes. They have a melodious voice. Tail fluttering and threat postures are also common signals of communication. The Siberian cranes have been found vocally active mostly in the afternoon.

How big is a Siberian crane?

The average length of a Siberian crane is 45–50 in (115–127 cm). The height is 55 in (140 cm).

How fast can a Siberian crane fly?

There is no number attached to the speed of a Siberian crane. But they are said to be pretty fast as they travel 2174-2584 mi (3500-4000 km) every year during the migration period.

How much does a Siberian crane weigh?

The average weight of a full-grown Siberian crane range from 10.8-18.95 lb (4.9-8.6 kg). Most commonly their weight is around 6 kg.

What are their male and female names of the species?

There is no different name given to the male and female sexes of the Siberian cranes. They are known by their scientific name and few other common names like Siberian white crane and snow crane.

What would you call a baby Siberian crane?

The babies are commonly called juveniles.

What do they eat?

The Siberian crane is an omnivores bird but is mostly considered a herbivore. They tend to feed during the early mornings and afternoons and use their bills to extract roots and tubers by their bills. During the breeding season, they also include insects, small mammals, snails, worms, fish, and fruits like cranberries in their diet.

Are they dangerous?

These birds are not considered as dangerous.

Would they make a good pet?

The Siberian crane is not made for captivity and its conservation status is getting degraded because of these practices.

Did you know...

The Siberian crane travels 2174-2584 mi (3500-4000 km) every year during the migration period.

Why does the Siberian crane migrate to India?

India in winters used to be a winter home for Siberian cranes. In ancient times, they used to stay in the wetlands in the Etawah and Mainpuri districts of India. Then artificial wetlands were made in Bharatpur of Rajasthan, and the birds were regulars to this place in the 19th century. Due to the warmer nature of the Rajasthan state in India, it's easier to feed and survive in the cold winters.

What is the color of a Siberian crane?

They have white plumage with black primaries.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds including a hooded pitohui and pink cockatoo.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our whooping crane coloring pages.

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Written by Ritwik Bhuyan

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English

Ritwik Bhuyan picture

Ritwik BhuyanBachelor of Arts specializing in English

A skilled content writer, Ritwik holds a Bachelor's degree in English from Delhi University. He has refined his writing abilities through his past experience at PenVelope and his current role at Kidadl. In addition to his proficiency in writing, Ritwik has pursued his passion for flying by achieving CPL training and becoming a licensed commercial pilot. This diverse skill set highlights his commitment to exploring multiple fields. Ritwik's experience in the aviation industry has provided him with a unique perspective and attention to detail, which he brings to his writing.

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